John Mcreery (JLM@TWICS.COM)
Thu, 17 Aug 1995 22:16:16 +0900

Dear Friends,

You may remember my asking for people who might be
interested in reading my "mess" (an early draft of a paper I'm
working on). The response has been wonderful. The paper has
to do with the experience of being a _gaijin_ (outside person,
aka alien) in Japan. In revising I found the focus I want, which
has raised a very interesting question that I'd like to continue
working on.

What are we to make of an anthropologist's discovery that he or
she doesn't want to _be_ one of the people with whom he or
she has been working? I imagine several possibilities:

The Scientist: Committed to maintaining a cooly objective stance
toward the subjects of her research and keeping theory cleanly
separate from values, she sees no problem to worry about.
People, lab rats, paramecia, electrons--makes no difference. Even
raising the issue is to compromise the objectivity science

The Reformer: No problem here either. The people I'm working
with are so messed up. The whole point of the exercise is to turn
them into something different, more like me.

The Culturally Sensitive Activist: Yes, we must be helping these
people get a fairer shake in the world. That means changing
their material relation to the world while acting to make sure
they have the power to maintain their traditional way of life.
Their thing is their thing. We each do our own thing.

Going Native: Actually, I do want to _be_ one of these
wonderful people. Problem is they won't recognize that I could

What other possibilities are there?

The language is light. The question is serious.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

John McCreeryv