If Truth Be Told: The Politics of Public Ethnography
Didier Fassin is James Wolfensohn Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, a Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and the author and editor of many books, most recently, Prison Worlds: An Ethnography of the Carceral Condition.
The subject Unni Wikan deals with exposes those who study it to difficult ordeals: the relationships between Muslim migrants and their European host communities. She experienced this peril with two of her books, which generated fierce criticisms: one contested the widely celebrated success of multiculturalism in Norway, and the other accounted for an honor killing in a migrant family from Kurdistan. In such cases of polarized moral passions, the efforts to render the complexity of the situation and maintain a critical stance are met with suspicious or even hostile reactions from all sides. It is noteworthy that Norwegian anthropologists have...