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Reflecting the “Field”: Two Vepsian Villages and Three Researchers

Laura Siragusa and Madis Arukask

Keywords: field; history of anthropology; North; reflective anthropology; Veps

Abstract

For social researchers a field site is continuously made by the interactions between the researchers and the ecology, including ideologies, present at the time when research is conducted. Such interactions and their interpretations change over time due to the dynamism of life in the field and the emergence of new methods and academic discussions. In order to do this, we have taken two Vepsian villages and three researchers of different background—including ourselves—and compared our working ways. This has enabled us to appreciate the strengths as well as the weaknesses of our own practices and to recognize the value of self-irony as a method of exploration and discovery. The dialogic approach of the article matches our theoretical scope as we have developed an understanding of field as a space where an honest and open discussion is possible.

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