Re: Studying Your own People

Judith M S Pine (jmsp@U.WASHINGTON.EDU)
Sun, 26 May 1996 17:29:03 -0700

I just finished reading a very interesting discussion of this topic.
Check out Ellen Lewin's "Writing Lesbian Ethnography" in
_Women_Writing_Culture_, ed. Ruth Behar and Deborah A. Gordon.

- Judy Pine :)

On Sun, 26 May 1996, Pauline Shafer wrote:

> I too am facing this and have done some degree of reading across the
> discipline this last yeara nd am a little concerned of what my
> position will entail.
> For it seems a definite condition of anthropology that has residue still
> today, is that one should study outside ones' own culture, for multiple
> reasons. I have seen a great deal that speaks to this delimma in
> commentary
> about refelxive ethnography, yet the actuality of "native"
> (now that I've utilezed the attention grabbing quotes, I'll
> do aweay with them) ethnographers is few and far between. If native
> ethnographers utilize more conventional monographic approaches or anything
> that encompasses an "objective" stance, questions of that very objectivity
> are immeditely eveoked. And yet I have seen how some people in the
> disciplines under anthropology are quite dismissive if not openly hostile
> to reflexive/ experimental ethnography. As a mixed-blood Native American
> my closest model is Gerald Vizenor, who is in Ethnic Studies and
> predominantly works in literature. I know these issues reflect the current
> "crises" in anthropology. I would love to ask Arjun Appadurai how he
> deals with it, becuase none of his writings I've seen so far do.
> I guess I am responding to the concern I've been having of what our very
> presence as native ethnographers will mean for anthropology as a
> discipline with such a riddled history. I personally am looking to
> works like Levi-Stauss's Tristes Tropique for traces (for there are
> threads of his delimma of being a Jew there). Then there is
> Micheal Taussig's Mimesis and Alterity, where he discusses some of these
> vexed issues.
> Pauline
> (any vexing or riddling of these issues is purely {uh huh} my own. Tones
> of incredulity running throughout are meant to reflect my concern)
> On Sat, 25 May 1996, Marie K Conrad wrote:
> > Dear Martin,
> > Hope you don't mind if I "piggy-back" on your request. I will be
> > conducting research next year and am currently tackling just those issues.
> > So, if anyone has any suggestions for Martin, please also send them to me.
> > Your help would be much appreciated!
> > Marie Conrad
> >
> >
> > On Sat, 25 May 1996, Martin Cohen wrote:
> >
> > > I am seeking help from list members. Does anyone know of any books or
> > > papers that deal with the problems of conducting field work among one's own
> > > people? I am interested in this as both a source of practical advice for
> > > myself, as well as for readings to include in a course I am designing on
> > > the topic. Also, any examples of ethnographies by ethnographers who are
> > > insiders ("auto-ethnography"?) would be appreciated.
> > >
> > > Thanks, Martin Cohen
> > >
> >