Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Anthropology, urgency, crisis and impact: slow ethnographic methods and a rapid peace process in Northern Ireland  
Dominic Bryan (Queen's University Belfast)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will try to reconcile time spent in the ethnographic field with the urgency created in a rapidly developing social context. Reviewing work undertaken on conflict over rituals during the Northern Ireland peace process, it suggests that fieldwork and anthropological models have potential for rapid intervention.

Paper long abstract:

Anthropology has the great asset of offering slow and in-depth qualitative methodologies which can be justified and should be defended. Yet contemporary ethnography is frequently taking place in spaces of crisis where people are experiencing rapid change. This paper will try to reconcile time spent on ethnographic fieldwork with the urgency created by a rapidly developing social context and the potential to have important impact. By reviewing work undertaken on conflict over rituals and symbols through the Northern Ireland peace process the paper will suggest that ethnography and anthropological models can provide the potential for rapid intervention. Most importantly, the interactions built up through fieldwork have the potential to provide relationships of trust that can generate informed policy impact in relatively short periods of time. Such work raises some significant ethical challenges but also offers a reminder that anthropology can provide a vehicle for significant activism.

This paper will review the work undertaken during and after the disputes over parades in Northern Ireland particularly in the 1990s and examine why ethnographic fieldwork made a difference. It will look at some of the ways in which urgent outputs, such as published reports, had impact. By reviewing engagement with politicians, people parading, people protesting and the police, the paper will examine the potential and pitfalls in what might be termed ‘urgent anthropology’.

Panel PlenC
Reinventing urgent anthropology: EASA Exec Plenary