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The Shadow Side of Fieldwork

Exploring the Blurred Borders between Ethnography and Life

Athena McLean (Hrsg.), Annette Leibing (Hrsg.)

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Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Ethnologie


The Shadow Side of Fieldwork draws attention to thetypically hidden or unacknowledged aspects of ethnographicfieldwork encounters that nevertheless shape the resultingknowledge and texts. Addressing these invisible, elusive, unspokenor mysterious elements introduces a distinctive rigor andresponsibility to ethnographic research. * * Luminaries in anthropology dare to explore the 'unspeakable'and 'invisible' in the ethnographic encounter * Considers personal and professional challenges (ethical,epistemological, and political) faced by researchers who examinethe subjectivities inherent in their ethnographic insights * Explores the value, and limitations, of addressing the personalin ethnographic research * Includes a critical discussion of the anthropologist'sself in the field * Introduces imaginative rigor to ethnographic research toheighten confidence in anthropological knowledge


(Journal ofthe Royal Anthropological Institute, September 2009)
"Important and invaluable ... .This book brings that totality outof the shadows and into the light. It is written in an accessiblemanner and should inform teaching of research methods at both anundergraduate and postgraduate level, being a core text in thelatter. It should be a companion guide to us all."
João Biehl, Princeton University
"There are some fabulous papers in here: thought provoking,stimulating, well-written, clever papers." (AnthropologicalForum, July 2009)"Eye opening, provocative, and politically charged, this timelyvolume will change the ways you think about objects of knowledgeand the means and ethics of knowing."
George Marcus, University of California, Irvine
"With a multi-faceted play on the concept of shadow, these fineessays together redeem and clarify the so-called reflexive turn inanthropology, showing how the deeply personal in fieldwork isintegral to the kind of quirky curiosity on which ethnographicknowledge so distinctively depends."
Debbora Battaglia, Mount Holyoke College
"With uncommon candor, the remarkable ethnographers of TheShadow Side of Fieldwork interrogate some of the most pressingethical and theoretical issues of writing culture in the presentmoment. Their often moving accounts of close encounters withthemselves in their fieldwork contexts, and their understanding ofhow these encounters shape anthropology's project of ethicalconnection with persons and worlds beyond, and within, our own,invites the discipline into new realms of inquiry, and excitesdeeper engagement with the paradoxes and anxieties ofintersubjective research. A remarkable undertaking, alltold."
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Soziale u. kulturelle Anthropologie, Anthropological Theory & Methods/Ethnography, Anthropology, Social & Cultural Anthropology, Anthropologie, Anthropologie / Theorie u. Methoden, Ethnographie