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Hollis Moore

’; implies African descent. 2 This article is based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out from 2010 to 2012. I use the ethnographic present when I am able to draw directly from field notes written during this period. Names – of people as well as Trisa

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Institutions of Confinement as Sites of Passage

The Mètis of Foreign Nationals Caught in the Wars on Terror, Drugs and Immigration

Carolina S. Boe

1990s against substance abuse and trade in poorer neighbourhoods ( Bourgois 2002 ; Kokoreff, Coppel and Peraldi 2018 ). The article draws on ethnographic non-consecutive fieldwork and biographical interviews with (former) foreign national prisoners

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Austrian “Gypsies” in the Italian archives

Historical ethnography on multiple border crossings at the beginning of the twentieth century

Paola Trevisan

resistance adopted by the family networks over time? When and how is it possible to reconstruct the agency of the Sinti by intertwining the archival documents with the ethnographic knowledge coming from the fieldwork? An ethnographic reading of archives means

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On the Touch-Event

Theopolitical Encounters

Valentina Napolitano

concrete examples of touch-events, drawn from my own research and fieldwork, to ground my opening argument and advance directions for a theopolitical discussion of the touch-event and the politics that might be generated. The first few of these cases relate

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Michael G. Powell

By considering multiple perspectives on the problem of networking and networks in public policy circles, as well as the wider professional world, this article aims to both draw out and blur boundaries and definitions among multiple levels of networking as an analytic concept, a fieldwork method and a practice observed among policymakers. In making this distinction and explaining it in relation to theorisations of fieldwork rapport and 'complicity,' the article attempts to show that the distance and collegiality that defines professional networking is a viable and potentially quite insightful mode, means and method for conducting fieldwork, particularly for multisited anthropology of public policy projects. To that end, this article offers both conceptual ideas, as well as practical advice for conceiving and conducting fieldwork for an anthropology of public policy project.

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Being There

Early Career Medical Anthropologists’ Perspectives on Contemporary Challenges in the Field

Francesca Cancelliere and Ursula Probst

Conrad W. Watson describes fieldwork as ‘a period of particular heightened intensity’ (1999a: 2) in the introduction of Being There (1999b). The authors of this volume were by far not the first, nor the last, anthropologists questioning and critically reflecting on what it is that they are actually doing when being there in their respective fields. For Watson and others (Borneman and Hammoudi 2009; Geertz 2004; Hollan 2008), this was primarily an epistemological question, following ruptures in the discipline’s identity after the Writing Culture Debates of the late 1980s. Forced to rethink their fieldwork practices, anthropologists saw their understandings of theory-building and knowledge production follow suit. However, the complexities and challenges of ethnographic fieldwork also confronted and still confront many anthropologists with intricate questions of inequalities, power structures and violence that not only need to be theorised but also navigated in the everyday practice of fieldwork.

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Questions from the Field

Anthropological Self-reflexivity through the Eyes of Study Participants

Sangmi Lee

Although there is nothing new about how anthropologists can be the observed instead of simply being the observer and that they can also be interviewed while interviewing, no one has studied the kinds of questions they receive from the people that they study and interact with in the field. Questions that research participants ask the anthropologists during fieldwork provide a critical way to reflect upon historical and persistent issues related to field-work, such as positionality, self-reflexivity and methodology. Based on fourteen months of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork among two Hmong communities in Laos and the United States, this article examines some of the questions I received from the people in my study and suggests that anthropologists need to pay more critical attention to these questions as a source of self-reflexivity and positionality in the process of ethnographic writing.

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Practising in the Field

A Narrative of Public Health Research

Lindsay Sprague

The following is a narrative of a medical researcher and her experiences in the field. Una Lynch, a resident of Northern Ireland and currently a lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the Queen’s University Belfast, has engaged in extensive public health research using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Though historically, as anthropologists, we have valued the contributions fieldwork has offered to our understanding of culture, personality, lifestyles and behaviours, we seldom encounter fieldwork within other facets of academia. How is ethnography used, therefore, within other disciplines? What contributions has ethnography brought to knowledge outside the borders of anthropology?

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Towards an Ethnography of Crisis

The Investigation of Refugees’ Mental Distress

Francesca Morra

This article analyses the challenges posed by carrying out ethnography with migrants experiencing mental distress and living in conditions of multiple marginality (social and existential). Drawing on the notion of crisis, I consider the experience of disorder as an ethnographic object reflecting the intersection between the individual and the collective. This article examines how ethnographic practice can be applied to, and is altered by, the study of these experiences, asking: How are we, especially as first-time fieldworkers, affected by unsettling encounters? How do we react and respond to the crises of others? What use can we make of our own experiences of crises by developing new ways of practising fieldwork?

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Silence Sits in Places

Chronic Illness and Memory in Northern Morocco

Federico Reginato

Having become interested in the uprising of the Hirak movement and its denouncement of a 'cancer epidemic' in the Moroccan Rif, I ended up having what appeared to be a shattered experience, one broken by refusals to speak, miscommunication and bureaucratic barriers. Upon returning home, the very same silence that had surrounded my fieldwork then emerged as a resourceful tool with which to make sense of an opaque history. In this article, I will therefore consider silence as a social object that we encounter during fieldwork, as a positional issue and as an epistemological space. In this sense, engaging with what appears to be at the margin of everyday speech requires consideration of silence as something that is made powerful precisely by its being left unsaid.