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When Facebook Is the Internet

A Halfie Anthropologist Grapples with Evolving Social Media Connectivity

Rosa Cordillera A. Castillo

anthropologist, a positionality where “the Other is in certain ways the self” ( Abu-Lughod 1991: 141 ). This implicates the anthropologist in particular ways with the world of her interlocutors, where she speaks not only as an ‘outsider’ but also as an ‘insider

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Solveig Roth and Dagny Stuedahl

daily life and school can have implications for educational trajectories given that engagement in learning across formal and informal settings takes place, as Glynda Hull and James Greeno (2006) remind us. We use the concept of social positional

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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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Moving the Goalposts

Postcolonial Intersections and Mobilities

Stéphanie Ponsavady

The articles in this issue’s special section strike a balance of disciplines, geographical areas, scales, and seniority levels, and offer thought-provoking examples of studies of postcolonial intersectional locations of mobile people and ideas in Asia. This response seeks to tease out the potential avenues not only for future themes of research but also for innovative methods. It concludes with an invitation to better incorporate intersectionality into our research and acknowledge how it also plays out in our own positionality and understanding of mobility.

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Plans, Changes, Improvisations

Navigating Research on the Fertility Quests of Mozambican Women and Men

Inês Faria

This article addresses the challenges and reflections of a junior anthropologist while developing research on the delicate topic of reproductive health and infertility in Maputo, Mozambique. Based on participant observation notes, entries in fieldwork diaries, and interviews, and assuming the character of a reflexive ethnographic account, the article concerns personal and research challenges and opportunities experienced during the preparation and development of a research project and a PhD thesis. While reflecting more broadly on processes of knowledge production, history and colonial relations, and on the writing of a scientific account, it provides insights into the pragmatics of research in medical anthropology by detailing the everyday life of doing ethnography, including networking, bureaucratic processes, boredom, the exploration of new fieldwork landscapes, and positionality dilemmas.

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Doing Gender Research as a ‘Gendered Subject’

Challenges and Sparks of Being a Dual-Citizen Woman Researcher in Iran

Rassa Ghaffari

from the different dynamics of power and positionality that arise in the relation between the researcher and ‘researched’ in a context where gender, ethnicity, age and social class combine to define clear-cut hierarchies and roles sanctioned by the

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Digital and Offline

Partial Fields and Knowledge Producers

Narmala Halstead

disciplinary concerns. This illuminates the spaces for experiential newness, arising at times through shocks of managing field relations from vantage points that seek or expect same-side positionality or at the least encompassment with the other . This

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Lessons from Refugees

Research Ethics in the Context of Resettlement in South America

Marcia Vera Espinoza

. Positionality and Power Imbalances After I explained the research and the participants agreed to meet me, a second negotiation took place. I was a total stranger knocking at people's doors. Considering refugees’ traumatic experiences before and during

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Viv Caruana and Catherine Montgomery

This article presents a comprehensive review of research on transnational higher education published between 2006 and 2014. It aims to provide an overview of a highly complex field that is both nascent and shifting, with research developing unevenly and concentrated in particular areas. This overview will enable academics working in transnational higher education to place their practice in the wider context of socio-political and cultural discourses. The review adopts the concept of positionality, which defines individuals and/or groups not in terms of fixed identities but by their shifting location within networks of relationships as a means of understanding the changing landscape.

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Anthropology, bureaucracy and paperwork

Thomas Bierschenk

This postface links the contributions to this special issue to wider concerns in the anthropology of bureaucracy and the history of this disciplinary subfield. Anthropologists focus on documentary practices: how documents are produced, how they are being used (not always in the sense originally given to them by the producers), how they might be ‘brokered’ and how they are being contested – mostly by the production of other documents. The postface points to the epistemological implications of an anthropology of bureaucracy, under the term of ‘complicit positioning’, and argues for acknowledging the double face of bureaucracy and paperwork, as a form of domination and oppression, as well as of protection and liberation, and all the ambivalences this dialectic entails.