The Shadow Side of Fieldwork: Exploring the Blurred Borders Between Ethnography and Life

The Shadow Side of Fieldwork: Exploring the Blurred Borders Between Ethnography and Life

Editor(s): Athena McLean, Annette Leibing

Published Online: 17 MAR 2008

Print ISBN: 9781405161305

Online ISBN: 9780470692455

DOI: 10.1002/9780470692455

About this Book

TheShadow Side of Fieldwork draws attention to the typically hidden or unacknowledged aspects of ethnographic fieldwork encounters that nevertheless shape the resulting knowledge and texts. Addressing these invisible, elusive, unspoken or mysterious elements introduces a distinctive rigor and responsibility to ethnographic research.


  • Luminaries in anthropology dare to explore the 'unspeakable' and 'invisible' in the ethnographic encounter
  • Considers personal and professional challenges (ethical, epistemological, and political) faced by researchers who examine the subjectivities inherent in their ethnographic insights
  • Explores the value, and limitations, of addressing the personal in ethnographic research
  • Includes a critical discussion of the anthropologist's self in the field
  • Introduces imaginative rigor to ethnographic research to heighten confidence in anthropological knowledge

Table of contents

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  1. Part I: Secrecy and Silence in the Ethnographic Encounter

  2. Part II: Transmutations of Experience: Approaching the Reality of Shadows

  3. Part III: Epistemic Shadows

  4. Part IV: The Politics of Ethnographic Encounter: Negotiating Power in the Shadow

  5. Part V: Blurred Borders in the Ethnographic Encounter of Self and Other

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