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    Redefining ethnography ‘in the strict sense of the term’: Perspectives gained from non-standard, old-new fieldwork


    Mathur, Chandana (2018) Redefining ethnography ‘in the strict sense of the term’: Perspectives gained from non-standard, old-new fieldwork. Anuac: Rivista dell'Associazione Nazionale Universitaria Antropologi Culturali, 7 (2). pp. 119-131. ISSN 2239-625X

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    Abstract

    This essay reflects on the consequences for ethnography of the reversal ofthe direction of the anthropological encounter – what exactly happens whenanthropologists from the Global South undertake fieldwork among populations in theGlobal North? I will argue that this does not merely correct historical imbalances ofanthropological knowledge production, thereby changing the substance of thatknowledge itself, although of course that is a goal worth pursuing, as has cogently beenpointed out by the “world anthropologies” critique of hegemonic disciplinary practices.Using insights drawn from my own research site in the US heartland, where I conductedfieldwork initially in 1989-91, and then again during a “focused revisit” in 2015, Isuggest that lasting misunderstandings between the anthropologist and the researchparticipants are themselves a rich source of data and human possibility. My contentionis that non-standard and long-term fieldwork of this kind may help reveal dimensionsof the practice of ethnography that would otherwise remain obscured.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Ethnographic fieldwork; Malinowsik; Usheartland; Anthropology in Reverse; Fieldwork revisits;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Anthropology
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, MUSSI
    Item ID: 10430
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7340/anuac2239-625X-3520
    Depositing User: Dr. Chandana Mathur
    Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2019 10:48
    Journal or Publication Title: Anuac: Rivista dell'Associazione Nazionale Universitaria Antropologi Culturali
    Publisher: Università degli studi di Cagliari
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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