Full Participation And Ethnographic Reflexivity. An Afro-Brazilian Case Study

Arnaud Halloy

Abstract


In this article, I explore the conditions of ethnographic knowledge production, with a focus on ‘full participation’, i.e. an unrestricted affective and relational commitment on the part of the ethnographer doing fieldwork. The very notion of participation raises some questions as to the objectivity of the ethnographic endeavour, as well as to the nature of the knowledge thus produced. The main goal of this article is to show that this knowledge, under specific conditions, is not only scientifically admissible but also likely to shed a different kind of light on the reality studied ethnographically. As I will argue, this can only be achieved through the development of three forms of ethnographic reflexivity. Finally, I will stress the heuristic and epistemic added value of full participation and conclude with a discussion of the place of intuition in ethnographic work and its consequences for the training of today’s and tomorrow’s anthropologists.

Keywords


Full Participation, Ethnographic Reflexivity; Participant Observation; Objectivity; Afro-Brazilian

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References


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