Download The Ethnographic Self: Fieldwork and the Representation of by Amanda Coffey PDF

By Amanda Coffey

What are the relationships among the self and fieldwork? How do own, emotional and identification matters influence upon operating within the box?

This e-book argues that ethnographers, and others focused on fieldwork, may be conscious of how fieldwork study and ethnographic writing build, reproduce and implicate selves, relationships and private identities. All too usually examine tools texts stay really silent in regards to the ways that fieldwork impacts us and we impact the sector. The booklet makes an attempt to synthesize money owed of the non-public adventure of ethnography. In doing so, the writer is smart of the method of fieldwork learn as a collection of functional, highbrow and emotional accomplishments. The booklet is

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Extra info for The Ethnographic Self: Fieldwork and the Representation of Identity

Sample text

The graduates with whom I would be spending most time were of a similar age to me, had experience of university life in the same time frame as me, were individuals with whom I saw myself relating. Indeed I had even debated the possibilities of entering the accountancy profession a few years earlier. Although I had eventually decided against it, I felt my experiences of attending careers fairs and accountancy interviews gave me a common ground with my informants. In so far as I had any thoughts about my sense of self during fieldwork I assumed that I would have relatively little difficulty in combining my identities in and out of the field.

Fieldwork relationships are at once professional and personal, yet not necessarily readily charac­ terized as either. Many professional, or even research, contexts rely upon social relationships that are courteous and polite, though distant. While we might hope to establish an ease of rapport, polite acquaintance is usually an entirely appropriate response. Yet in fieldwork the professional, research relationship also has a far more personal quality. It is not enough to simply go through the motions of politeness and professional courtesy.

The dilemma of familiarity comes later, as the fieldworker Copyrighted Material Locating the Self 21 begins t o live, work and become part of that environment. Fighting familiar­ ity (Delamont and Atkinson, 1995) is also an issue 'at home' , as Geer (1964) noted in her paper 'First days in the field' , where she reflected upon the difficulties of studying everyday, familiar settings. To an 'untrained' , or over-familiar, observer 'nothing' may be going on and worth noting down in a hospital ward or school classroom.

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