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Ethnographic Fieldwork: An Anthropological Reader, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-65715-7
672 pages
January 2012, ©2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Ethnographic Fieldwork: An Anthropological Reader, 2nd Edition (0470657154) cover image
Newly revised, Ethnographic Fieldwork: An Anthropological Reader Second Edition provides readers with a picture of the breadth, variation, and complexity of fieldwork. The updated selections offer insight into the ethnographer’s experience of gathering and analyzing data, and a richer understanding of the conflicts, hazards and ethical challenges of pursuing fieldwork around the globe.
  • Offers an international collection of classic and contemporary readings to provide students with a broad understanding of historical, methodological, ethical, reflexive and stylistic issues in fieldwork
  • Features 16 new articles and revised part introductions, with additional insights into the experience of conducting ethnographic fieldwork
  • Explores the importance of fieldwork practice in achieving the core theoretical and methodological goals of anthropology
  • Highlights the personal and professional challenges of field researchers, from issues of professional identity, fieldwork relations, activism, and the conflicts, hazards and ethical concerns of community work.
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About the Editors x

Editors’ Acknowledgments xi

Acknowledgments to Sources xii

Fieldwork in Cultural Anthropology: An Introduction 1
Jeffrey S. Sluka and Antonius C. G. M. Robben

Part I Beginnings 49

Introduction 51
Antonius C. G. M. Robben

1 The Observation of Savage Peoples 56
Joseph-Marie Degérando

2 The Methods of Ethnology 63
Franz Boas

3 Method and Scope of Anthropological Fieldwork 69
Bronislaw Malinowski

Part II Fieldwork Identity 83

Introduction 85
Antonius C. G. M. Robben

4 A Woman Going Native 92
Hortense Powdermaker

5 Fixing and Negotiating Identities in the Field: The Case of Lebanese Shiites 103
Roschanack Shaery-Eisenlohr

6 Being Gay and Doing Fieldwork 114
Walter L. Williams

7 Automythologies and the Reconstruction of Ageing 124
Paul Spencer

Part III Fieldwork Relations and Rapport 135

Introduction 137
Jeffrey A. Sluka

8 Champukwi of the Village of the Tapirs 143
Charles Wagley

9 Behind Many Masks: Ethnography and Impression Management 153
Gerald D. Berreman

10 The Politics of Truth and Emotion among Victims and Perpetrators of Violence 175
Antonius C. G. M. Robben

Part IV The “Other” Talks Back 191

Introduction 193
Jeffrey A. Sluka

11 Custer Died for Your Sins 199
Vine Deloria, Jr.

12 Here Come the Anthros 207
Cecil King

13 When They Read What the Papers Say We Wrote 210
Ofra Greenberg

14 Ire in Ireland 219
Nancy Scheper-Hughes

Part V Fieldwork Confl icts, Hazards, and Dangers 235

Introduction 237
Jeffrey A. Sluka

15 Ethnology in a Revolutionary Setting 244
June Nash

16 The Ethnographer’s Tale 256
Neil L. Whitehead

17 Anthropology from the Bones: A Memoir of Fieldwork, Survival, and Commitment 274
Cynthia Keppley Mahmood

18 Reflections on Managing Danger in Fieldwork: Dangerous Anthropology in Belfast 283
Jeffrey A. Sluka

Part VI Fieldwork Ethics 297

Introduction 299
Jeffrey A. Sluka

19 The Life and Death of Project Camelot 306
Irving Louis Horowitz

20 Confronting the Ethics of Ethnography: Lessons From Fieldwork in Central America 318
Philippe Bourgois

21 Ethics versus “Realism” in Anthropology 331
Gerald D. Berreman

22 Worms, Witchcraft and Wild Incantations: The Case of the Chicken Soup Cure 353
Jeffrey David Ehrenreich

23 Code of Ethics (2009) 359
American Anthropological Association

Part VII Multi-Sited Fieldwork 365

Introduction 367
Antonius C. G. M. Robben

24 Beyond “Culture”: Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference 374
Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson

25 Afghanistan, Ethnography, and the New World Order 387
David B. Edwards

26 Being There … and There … and There! Reflections on Multi-Site Ethnography 399
Ulf Hannerz

27 A New Form of Collaboration in Cultural Anthropology: Matsutake Worlds 409
Matsutake Worlds Research Group

Part VIII Sensorial Fieldwork 441

Introduction 443
Antonius C. G. M. Robben

28 Balinese Character: A Photographic Analysis 450
Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead

29 The Taste of Ethnographic Things 465
Paul Stoller and Cheryl Olkes

30 Dialogic Editing: Interpreting How Kaluli Read Sound and Sentiment 480
Steven Feld

31 On Rocks, Walks, and Talks in West Africa: Cultural Categories and an Anthropology of the Senses 496
Kathryn Linn Geurts

Part IX Refl exive Ethnography 511

Introduction 513
Antonius C. G. M. Robben

32 Fieldwork and Friendship in Morocco 520
Paul Rabinow

33 The Way Things Are Said 528
Jeanne Favret-Saada

34 Transmutation of Sensibilities: Empathy, Intuition, Revelation 540
Thomas J. Csordas

35 “At the Heart of the Discipline”: Critical Reflections on Fieldwork 547
Vincent Crapanzano

Part X Engaged Fieldwork 563

Introduction 565
Jeffrey A. Sluka

36 Introduction – 1942 573
Margaret Mead

37 Scholarship, Advocacy, and the Politics of Engagement in Burma (Myanmar) 579
Monique Skidmore

38 “Human Terrain”: Past, Present and Future Applications 593
Roberto J. González

39 The Gaza Freedom Flotilla: Ethnographic Notes on “Othering Violence” 605
Nikolas Kosmatopoulos

Appendix 1: Key Ethnographic, Sociological, Qualitative, and Multidisciplinary Fieldwork Methods Texts 612

Appendix 2: Edited Cultural Anthropology Volumes on Fieldwork Experiences 615

Appendix 3: Reflexive Accounts of Fieldwork and Ethnographies Which Include Accounts of Fieldwork 618

Appendix 4: Leading Cultural Anthropology Fieldwork Methods Texts 620

Appendix 5: Early and Classic Anthropological Writings on Fieldwork, including Diaries and Letters 622

Index 623

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Antonius C. G. M. Robben is Professor of Anthropology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and past President of the Netherlands Society of Anthropology. He is the author of Sons of the Sea Goddess: Economic Practice and Discursive Conflict in Brazil (1989) and Political Violence and Trauma in Argentina (2005), and editor of Fieldwork Under Fire: Contemporary Studies of Violence and Survival (with Carolyn Nordstrom, 1995) and Iraq at a Distance: What Anthropologists Can Teach Us About the War (2010).

Jeffrey A. Sluka is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at Massey University, New Zealand. He is past Chair of the Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa/New Zealand, a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association, author of Hearts and Minds, Water and Fish: Popular Support for the IRA and INLA in a Northern Irish Ghetto (1989), and editor of Death Squad: The Anthropology of State Terror (2000).

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  • Offers an international collection of classic and contemporary readings to provide students with a broad understanding of historical, methodological, ethical, reflexive and stylistic issues in fieldwork
  • Features 15 new articles and revised part introductions, with additional insights into the experience of conducting ethnographic fieldwork
  • Explores the importance of fieldwork practice in achieving the core theoretical and methodological goals of anthropology
  • Highlights the personal and professional challenges of field researchers, from issues of professional identity, fieldwork relations, activism, and the conflicts, hazards and ethical concerns of community work.
See More

“This final section serves to bring full circle many of the central issues about the relationship between ethnographers and their research subjects and, thus, is a fitting conclusion to an extraordinary collection.”  (Anthropos, 2 October 2013)

“This collection captures the inescapable situatedness of ethnographic field practice, in which personal commitments can both guide and mislead.  Varied perspectives, many of them highly personal, provide an epistemic kaleidoscope to match the riotously emotional and sensory chaos of the field experience.” -- Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University


"I was visited recently by a brilliant former student who is teaching anthropology in  Tehran under challenging conditions.  She  asked for a foundational text to motivate her students. I pulled my copy of Robben and Sluka from my crowded shelves and presented  it to her.  I intend to do the same with the revised edition. What  more to say?" -- George E. Marcus, Co-editor  of  Fieldwork Is Not What  It Used To Be

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