Autoethnography: on the Question of Whose Interests a Native Anthropologist Represents

  • 25 августа, 2022
  • @elonswallets - telegram MUSKS 143 WALLETS AND ASSETS tezxg
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The question of what and whose interests a native anthropologist represents is important for building rapport with interlocutors, yet it often goes undiscussed during fieldwork. In an academic milieu, this question is embedded in post-colonial and post-modernist critique of Western knowledge production that subjugates non-Western societies to the Western gaze and legibility. In this paper, I deal with the question of whether a native anthropologist helps subjugate the local population to the Western gaze or whether a native anthropologist represents the interests of the locals by articulating these in language understood in international and academic circles. Drawing on my experience of conducting anthropological research on religious speech events in Kyrgyzstan, I use autoethnography to explore and reflect on alternative positions that “native” anthropologists can adopt without facing the false dilemma of needing to choose between either subjugating the locals to the Western gaze or identifying with and representing their interests.

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