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October 13, 2005

those "being here" problems

I still have two months before my trip, my journey, my self-construction, my new life, new moment. I say new thinking in what Rabinow (Rabinow 1977, p. 3) said, that once back home from fieldwork everything would be different, my writing, my eye look, my thoughts, my ideas and – what I’m more anxious to change – my academic life. Rabinow, in the introduction of his book said that for some "the world was divided into two categories of people: those who had done fieldwork and those who had not; the latter were not 'really' anthropologists, regardless of what they knew about anthropology topics".

But how hard is to get that status, to pass throw this transformation process. I think the liminal process of creating a new hybrid product – neither in me and neither in them, and sub sequentially some of me and some of them – has already been started, at least on my side, infortunally, just on my side. They – the natives – don’t know what’s coming and, on fact, I don’t know either. That’s what I fear most.

But on these three years of graduation (i still have one more), and more particularly on this last one, I noticed afraid is a common sense feeling which every anthropologist – or a incomplete one, on my case – has to deal with, and not just on the "first time". Reading some texts I could se that any ethnographic book has a chapter where the anxiety, fears and truly desires are openly transformed into words that shows how imponent, frustrated and angry the human being part of the anthropologist felt (every one knows there is either a nonhuman part – just a funny observation – that we have to admit also help to create those ethnographic true fictions defended by Clifford), and that is: (a)before fieldwork (How is it gonna be? What should I look for?); (b) during fieldwork (How can I know that for sure? What’s the next question?); (c) after fieldwork (How can I reinterpret all this data?)

Posted by josue at 10:09 PM