If the end of exoticism is one of the characteristics of our time, and if classical anthropology based its study of alterity on this exotic distance from the other, is anthropology still possible, and if so, to what end? The author uses these questions as a point of departure for a probing interrogation of ethnological practice, starting with LZvi-Strauss. For several years, the author has advocated an anthropology of proximity in place of the usual anthropology of distance. He has studied such emblematic places of Western modernity as the Parisian Metro, or such emblematic non-places as airports or freeways, treating as valid anthropological objects phenomena that others might judge less pure or significant than systems of filiation or matrimonial alliance. The proper place of the ethnographer, he argues, is sufficiently distanced to comprehend a system as a system, yet participatory enough to live it as an individual. How can one best arrive at such a place?