Accepted Paper:

Personal relations, interlocution and ethnographic knowledge  


Benoît de L' Estoile (CNRS, Ecole normale supérieure PSL)

Paper short abstract:

Based both on historical work and on ethnographic fieldwork in Brazil, this paper reflects on the tension between the involvement in personal relationships and the production of a knowledge recognized as valid.

Paper long abstract:

In Brazil, experienced ethnographers, when studying land reform often use survey methods, which give more weight to their findings in a politically sensitive field. How can we sustain claims as to the validity of ethnographic knowlege, which is acquired through personal relationships? Using both personal experience in Northeast Brazil and a study of British anthropologists in the 1930's, I will try to reflect upon the distinctive contribution of ethnography and the ways it can gain recognition.

Panel W097
New vocabularies of method: experts, ethics and the mutuality of ethnographic fieldwork