The operation of the eye

Porcu, Leide

"The overall project is about practices of exchange, particularly theft, cheating, and
humor, which are elusive for an outsider. As a native ethnographer with family members
involved in the fish business, I was able to gain insights otherwise unattainable for a
woman and an outsider to this almost all-male community. My American academic
training offered ways of de-familiarizing the native context, opening new lines of
interpretation. To expound a topic that is somewhat out of the ordinary, I have
mobilized the existing anthropological literature, which largely ignores urbanization in
Sardinia, and theories from other fields, such as psychoanalysis and literature. This
composite methodology mimics the multivocality of the fish market, where a unitary
assessment of what is property, legality, and truth is not universal and determined in
advance, but it is constructed in a certain context and often determined by that context."

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Academic Units
Italian Academy
Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University
Italian Academy Fellows' Seminar Working Papers
Published Here
March 31, 2011