An Uneasy Partnership. On the Relationship between Ethnology and History
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This article is intended to demonstrate that, in spite of the common perception that the role of Polish ethnology among the branches of science is deliberately played down, it is very much possible today to speak of our discipline’s particular success: increasingly often, ethnology provides an inspiration for other branches and inspires their theories and methodologies. Referring to phenomena current in the Polish culture, I intend to convince my Readers that the process of “genre-mixing”, and especially the mutual influence of history on ethnology and vice-versa, are indispensable to arrive at a correct interpretation of the described phenomena. At the same time, I wish to demonstrate that that sort of purism which in the academic circles accompanies the perception of divisions between disciplines – and which includes the jealous guarding of one’s own little field of knowledge and denying other disciplines access to that field’s academic yield – is dishonest, since ethnology, for example, draws from other fields freely and much. Taking this image of contemporary anthropology as my starting point, I put forward the question whether, in these circumstances, it is at all justified to speak of auxiliary disciplines and to draw acute dividing lines between particular sciences.
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