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20. Annelise Riles, ed., Law/Anthropology

Annelise Riles
Riles Book

Annelise Riles

Documents: Artifacts of Modern Knowledge (University of Michigan Press, 2006). Riles pulls together a collection of work that considers how an understanding of documentary conventions inform the creation and circulation of modern forms of knowledge, expertise, and governance. The prevalence of documents in modern life—from the sciences to bureaucracy to law—challenges humanistic social science. Fieldworkers document social realities by collecting, producing, and exchanging documents of their own. The book explores how ethnographers conceive, grasp, appreciate, and see patterns, and it demonstrates that the core of the ethnographic methodology now lies in the way ethnographers respond to and share the professional passions and problems of their subjects. Riles categorizes this collection of work into three parts: Academic and Bureaucratic Knowledge, Authorship and Agency, and Collaboration and Response. The book opens up a new field of critique that will advance ethnography and qualitative inquiry.

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