Identity, Standpoint and the Limits (and Possibilities) of Fieldwork
Keywords:positionality, identity, subjectivity, fieldwork, Brazil, reflexivity
This article discusses the concept of positionality, which challenges the notion of a neutral, disembodied observer. For ethnographers, thinking about positionality means to attend to how fieldwork happens through interpersonal relationships that play out in complex and uneven social spaces. Drawing on examples from my own ethnographic fieldwork in Bahia, I consider how positionality is both limiting and enabling, and I address the challenges of writing about positionality in ways that enrich ethnographic description and analysis.
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