Tag Archives: Dell Hymes

the proper role of the scientist

“The proper role of the scientist, and the goal of his and her efforts, should not be ‘extractive’, but mediative. It should be to help communities be ethnographers of their own situations, to relate their knowledge usefully to general knowledge, not merely to test and document.”
“This chapter has argued for understanding speech communities as actual communities of speakers. In this way one can go beyond a liberal humanism which merely recognizes the abstract potentiality of languages, toward a humanism which can deal with concrete situations, with the inequalities that obtain and can help to transform them through knowledge of the ways in which language is organized as a human problem and resource.”
(Dell Hymes. Ethnography, Linguistics, Narrative Inequality: Toward An Understanding Of Voice. p.60)