Corsican Fragments

Corsican Fragments

Difference, Knowledge, and Fieldwork
Matei Candea
Distribution: World
Publication date: 6/7/2010
Format: paper 216 pages, 5 b&w illus.
6 x 9 x .625
ISBN: 978-0-253-22193-3
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The island of Corsica has long been a popular destination for travelers in search of the European exotic, but it has also been a focus of French concerns about national unity and identity. Today, Corsica is part of a vibrant Franco-Mediterranean social universe. Starting from an ethnographic study in a Corsican village, Corsican Fragments explores nationalism, language, kinship, and place, as well as popular discourses and concerns about violence, migration, and society. Matei Candea traces ideas about inclusion and exclusion through these different realms, as Corsicans, "Continentals," tourists, and the anthropologist make and unmake connections with one another in their everyday encounters. Candea's evocative and gracefully written account provides new insights into the dilemmas of understanding cultural difference and the difficulties and rewards of fieldwork.

Author Bio

Matei Candea is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at Durham University. He is editor of The Social after Gabriel Tarde: Debates and Assessments.


"A book of extraordinary brilliance, compelling honesty and logic, and rich insight." —Michael Herzfeld

"It is hard to let go of this book, if only because its structure will lead many readers from the very last page back to the beginning again to contemplate anew what they have just read." —

"[A] stimulating and eloquently written book that highlights, with subtle examples, the complex interplay between fixity and fluidity in discourses and practices of identification." —Anthropos

"Corsica has long been a destination of otherness . . . anthropologists in search of cultural difference within a perceived European tradition. Matei Candea presents this book situated in Corsica as an exploration of anthropological ways of coming to grips with the fragmentary knowledge gained from fieldwork in a region long preoccupied with its disputed identities." —American Anthropologist

"In Corsican Fragments, Matei Candea takes the theoretical problematic of difference to motivate a set of ethnographic questions and challenges related to both the context of life in a village on the island and the process of fieldwork and ‘enfielding’ of the author. . ." —Social Anthropology

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Table of Contents


Prologue: Roadmap
1. Arbitrary Location
2. Mystery
3. Place
4. Things
5. People
6. Languages
7. Knowing
8. Anonymous Introduction

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