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    STUDIA SOCIOLOGIA - Issue no. 2 / 2010  

Authors:  IRINA CULIC.
  Abstract:  Ethnographic fieldwork as method of research configures a specific relationship between anthropologist and her object of research, whereby the epistemic position is one of mutual constitution. Knowledge is produced within and through a liminal cultural space between the researcher and her anthropological subjects, unfolded through interaction, transformation, and resignification. Based on my experience of fieldwork among fellow Romanian immigrants to Canada, this article discusses the tensions entailed by such reversal of the classic ethnographic situation. Autobiography precedes anthropology and survives it. Both the researcher and the researched are away, having already experienced the immersion into another culture in complex ways, during the process of immigration, and after the settlement in the new country. The stance towards fieldwork proposed here is one that upholds forceful and total engagement with the members of the community under study, which does not circumvent confrontation, strong emotions, or pain, but requires discretion, temperance, and prudence in its rendition. It also proposes the moment of writing as the primary ethical, ontological, and epistemological moment in the whole anthropological undertaking.

Keywords: ethnographic fieldwork, autobiography, writing, ethics, Romanian immigrants, Canada
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