Sam Martinez Publishes on H.R. experts
The Human Rights Institute's Director of the Undergraduate Program, Samuel Martinez new publication.
“An Anthropologist among Human Rights Experts in Haiti and the Dominican Republic: Para-Ethnographic Perspectives on Culture and Rights.” Australian Journal of Human Rights 19(1, 2013): 11-29.
Even as there is broad agreement that major advances in theory and method can be claimed for today's anthropology of human rights, insufficient attention has been given to what aims and methods set apart human rights from other subjects of anthropological research. Starting from the observation that cultural anthropologists are not the experts but just one kind of expert among many when they study human rights, the concept of ‘para-ethnography’ is proposed as a theorisation of the kinds of knowledge and insights provided by the expert counterparts whom anthropologists find among human rights activists, investigators and lawyers. A description of the author's own work, as a researcher into, and occasional advocate for, the rights struggles of the Haitian-ancestry minority in Haiti’s Caribbean neighbour state, the Dominican Republic, is put forward to defend the idea that para-ethnography (quasi-ethnographic accounts of complex social fields by participants in those fields) is a concept well-suited to wider adoption as a theoretical/methodological asset by anthropologists of human rights.