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Problematizing Interaction

Problematizing Interaction

Chapter:
(p.110) Chapter 3 Problematizing Interaction
Source:
Ethical Life
Author(s):
Webb Keane
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691167732.003.0004

This chapter looks at a variety of ethnographic cases to show how recognition and intentionality are elaborated and brought into focus in different cultural contexts. It studies the concept of dewa, which seems to thematize the role that other people play in one's own sense of self. This concept, however, is not simply just one way of describing a universal feature of interaction. Once crystallized as an object of reflections, something that Sumbanese consciously know about the world and can connect to other things they know about their world, it also guides them as they purposefully undertake ethical actions. Indeed, the chapter argues that if recognition and intentionality are basic features of all social interaction anywhere, they also serve as affordances for dealing with, or reflecting on, particular ethical questions that concern a given community.

Keywords:   recognition, intentionality, dewa, social interaction, ethical actions, ethical affordances, ethical questions

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