A conversation about values learned at home and in the field 
Francesca Merlan (Australian National University)
Victoria Burbank (University of Western Australia)
Send message to Convenors
Jan Anderson (E101A), R.N Robertson Building
Thursday 5 December, 9:00-10:45 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

We proposea roundtable where participants compare their folk values -- often taken for granted ideas about what is good and what is bad, learned prior to fieldwork -- and how they interact with the values we later learn from the people we engage with in our ethnographic efforts.

Long Abstract:

This conversation will enable us to ask ourselves how field experience may challenge or confirm the values we take into the field and how these experiences may or may not lead to changes in our thought. This conversation also enables us to consider how this comparison of values may lead to changes of various kinds in our own lives and possibly our societies.

We anticipate the conversation will include at least some of the following:

comparisons of our folk values and of the values we have learned in the field

how our field experiences may have challenged or reinforced our pre-field values

how our experiences of value dissonance and/or reinforcement have affected various aspects of our lives

how these experiences, if widely shared, might contribute to positive and/or negative social change, e.g. approaches to racism, terrorism, colonialism, free trade, free speech, inequality

how these experiences, if widely shared, might contribute to positive and/or negative change in the values of major Australian and/or global institutions, e.g. governments, corporations, universities

how these experiences, if widely shared might have an impact on anthropological thinking and practice

If you would like to join in this roundtable please send us a few lines, or a paragraph, telling us what you would like to bring to the exchange. Contributions on working in Australia, and with Indigenous communities, are welcome, but are not limited to that.

We envision the possibility of an edited volume emerging from this event.

Accepted papers: