The Uncertain Self in Ethnographic Research and Writing
Keywords:reflexivity, self-representation, positionality, ethnographic writing
This article asks the ethnographer to revisit questions about representing the self as an ethnographic researcher in the context of fieldwork, but especially in dialogue with readers through scholarly writing. How does—or can—the ethnographer maintain transparency about how their social positions shape their research questions, access to material and fieldwork spaces, conversation partners, and theorizing? Using a particular example of the author’s own experience in misunderstanding the ways in which she was received by her interlocuters in the field, this article suggests that the ethnographer must rethink how the researcher self is formed by writing about the “messiness” of fieldwork, and not relying on simple statements of positionality in ethnographic writing.
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