Dwight Conquergood- 4Ps

Conquergood, D. (1989). Poetics, play, process, and power: The performative turn in anthropology. Text and Performance Quarterly, 9(1), 82-88.

Conquergood acknowledges the performative turn in anthropology and is offering four terms for thinking about performance. Performance in anthro has come to replace logical positivism, objectivity, science, distance, neutral observer, etc. Performance advocates for the construction of self and society.

Poetics- the constructed nature of society; creative possibilities; fabrication
Play- experimentation, carnivale; unsettling certainties in order to show the vulnerability of institutions
Process- emergent, destabilizing, resists closure
Power- ideology, domination, resistance

The performative turn is used to problematize different points in ethnographic data and he uses books from Performance’s founding fathers to demonstrate that.


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