University of Washington Press, 2015. Item #45877
Fieldwork Connections tells the story of the intertwined research histories of three anthropologists working in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China in the late twentieth century. Chapters are written alternately by a male American anthropologist, a male researcher raised in a village in Liangshan, and a highly educated woman from an elite Nuosu/Chinese family. As decades of mutual ethnographic research unfold, the authors enter one another's narratives and challenge the reader to ponder the nature of ethnographic “truth.”
The book begins with short accounts of the process by which each of the authors became involved in anthropological field research. It then proceeds to describe the research itself, and the stories begin to connect as they become active collaborators. The scene shifts in the course of the narrative from China to America, and the relationship between the authors shifts from distant, wary, and somewhat hierarchical to close, egalitarian, and reciprocal.
The authors share their histories through personal stories, not technical analyses; their aim is to entertain while addressing the process of ethnography and the dynamics of international and intercultural communication.
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