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Accepted Paper:

Anthropology of ‘counter’ experiences: researching the meaning of changed states of mind in alternative lifestyles  
Reda Šatūnienė (Lithuanian University of Health Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

Presentation thesis is focused on ways, and reasons of undisclosed research circumstances in Lithuanian alternative cultures. Theses are based focused on meanings of experimenting with psychoactive substances, practical research, and paper writing challenges.

Paper long abstract:

Theses are based on current author’s study (to be published in 2016), focused on understandings, and meanings of experimenting with psychoactive substances. In the presentation, interconnections of marginality, being “on edge”, subterranean values cultivated in alternative cultures are discussed. Research emphasizes emic perspective of researcher in order to reveal the meaning of beliefs and practices of using illegal substances in various contexts. Anthropological methods to collect empirical research data (years 2002-2004, 2015-2016; esearch participants age range from 19 to 43) were used: observations, participant observations, non formal discussions, group documents analysis, filling the research diary.

The main problematic issue of this presentation is focused on extrapolations of undiscloseness of empirical research for sensitive, and both very personal data of research participants, who belong to different social groups, has different backgrounds. There are many important aspects in anthropological research process included: personal relations, mutual trust, natural rise of personal and formal relationship, deep (and long) integration to the subculture researched, validity and correct interpretation of research data. From the other side, researching sensitive topics puts a researcher in an ambiguous position, which the thesis will discuss in more detail.

Key words: illegal practices, understanding of counter experiences, sensitive anthropological research, research ethics, alternative culture.

Panel P085
Undisclosed research and the future of ethnographic practice [Anthropology of Confinement Network]
  Session 1