NOTES ON ‘NOT BEING THERE’

Abstract

Although using the past to explain or question the present remains part of ethnology’s self-image, ethnology has become a contemporary-oriented discipline. While we tend to emphasise the complexity of our own time, we risk representing the past as a series of single events with immutable meaning, reduced to a backdrop. This article attempts to discuss the practical implications of using ethnographic methods to describe and understand a lost world. Is it at all possible? Inspired by Barthes’s method for analysing three levels of meaning in the advertising image, and by Ricoeur’s metaphor of history as a map, I shall attempt to outline a method for performing ethnography in eighteenth-century Stockholm, using a notorious ball at the Royal Palace in April 1768 as an
example.

Keywords

prostitution, clues, eighteenth-century Stockholm, ethnography, method

How to Cite

Lennartsson, R., (2011) “NOTES ON ‘NOT BEING THERE’”, Ethnologia Europaea 41(1), p.106-116. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1081

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.

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Authors

Rebecka Lennartsson (Stockholm City Museum)

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