Fieldwork in the Anthropocene
On the Possibilities of Analogical Thinking between Nature and Society
Interdisciplinary sensitivity takes into account the epistemic upheaval of the Anthropocene. However, the still fragmented academic organization between nature and society counteracts intellectual progress. The paper explores the possibilities of enhancing collaboration between biology and sociology by providing an empirical reflection of common methodological grounds. Building on practice theory, pragmatism, science studies and sociocultural anthropology, I discuss current nature–society relationships through an ethnography of a taxonomist’s laboratory, followed up by a biodiversity expedition in Papua New Guinea. I address analogical thinking as a device for interdisciplinary collaboration through four modes of fieldwork enrollment: Ontological, disciplinary, transdisciplinary and experimental. The paper concludes with two arguments: Firstly, fieldwork could engender new knowledge in between differing epistemic cultures and, secondly, an analogical fieldwork approach based on the interrelatedness of experience, trial and cooperation facilitates promising pathways for sustainable futures of inquiry.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Tanja Bogusz
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