|Jennifer and Rhiannon at CASCA-IUAES |
with Vol. 59, Issue 1 of Anthropologica (May 2017)
This is also an opportune moment to reflect on how we can best communicate about our new article through social media. During CASCA the publisher (University of Toronto Press) had made this latest issue open access, but now that the conference has ended, our article is once again behind a paywall. So, as Aidnography suggests in Don’t post direct links to your new journal article! (17 April 2017), here's a brief description of our latest publication. If you have access to Anthropologica as a CASCA member, or through your institution, we hope that you download and read the full text.
|"Agency and Agendas"|
Tsing’s friction refers not to conflict or poor relations among the researcher or researched. Instead, friction refers to the idea that our interlocutors are agentive individuals who wilfully take part in, and influence, our research. How our interlocutors participate (or refuse to participate) deeply affects our work as ethnographers (Mosher et al. 2017:146).In this article, we wanted to try to move beyond simply discussing reflexivity and positionality, and instead consider how the people who participate in our research co-create what we consider 'the field' -- how this interaction deeply "enables, shapes, redirects, and limits the kinds of research we may ultimately produce." Through drawing on our own research experiences, we argue that what we come to know through ethnography "is in no small part due to the agency and agendas of those we recruit as participants in our studies" (Mosher et al. 2017:147). As authors, we tackle these questions and hope to open up this discussion through addressing considerations of:
- how our potential participants shape and direct our access to data. Our interactions with the people, places, and issues that we seek to understand are deeply entangled in the iterative process of ethnography.
- what might be called the "observed" effect on our research. In what ways are we and our research agendas/ approaches shaped by becoming an object of scrutiny among our research community/ participants/ informants?
- the adaptation of ethnographic methods to non-academic research contexts. With the growing interest in ethnographic methods in industry, how can anthropologists pursue "thick" ethnographic relationships and insights in the context of rapid, industry research timelines (including where our research contacts have been pre-arranged by a third party)?
- the afterlives of research. How do the reputations of past researchers among the communities we study impact or frame the kind of research we do in the present? How might our own research findings become incorporated into yet unimagined future projects and agendas, including among our former research communities?
- "Agency and Agendas: Revisiting the role of the Researcher and the Researched in Ethnographic Research" Anthropologica (pay-walled article)
- Aidnography's Don’t post direct links to your new journal article! (17 April 2017)
- A New Home for Ethnography: The Use and Legacy of Ethnography by Anthropologists and Non-Anthropologists (anthro everywhere! 9 June 2016)