Re: Active Ethnography

Fri, 14 Jan 1994 15:15:35 CST

R. Ehrenreich makes good points against the argument that fieldworkers
should seek political involvement. I doubt that the person he is
reading represents a very common view among cultural anthropologists in
the United States. In their methodology classic *Anthropological
Research: The Structure of Inquiry*, Pelto and Pelto wrote, " is
...generally taken for granted that the fieldworker should avoid getting
involved in politics" (1978:187). In a quick perusal of H. Russell
Bernard's more recent *Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology*
(1988), I find nothing inconsistent with this. Intentionally involving
oneself politically, though it may be the right thing to do and no doubt
sometimes should be done, springs from other than scientific impulses.
--Bob Graber