When They Read What We Write

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Stimulated by discussions of ethics and responsibility in anthropological fieldwork, this collection of essays explores what happens when people who are the subjects of the research read or learn about what has been written about them. The most acute problems arise from biased media reports in newspapers and on television that misconstrue the findings of the anthropological study. This work shows how long-term relationships of trust and cooperation between subject and researcher can be irrevocably damaged by misinformation, rumor, or lack of forethought. The ten seasoned ethnographers writing with considerable hindsight warn of the dangers of ignoring the native readership and suggest strategies that will avoid misunderstandings and misrepresentations in the future.

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Editorial Reviews

A text for an introductory course for nonmajor or premajor students with some exposure to basic biology concepts. This sixth edition incorporates a new organization into six sections on introductory concepts, marine primary producers, diversity of marine animals, benthic communities, the pelagic realm, and human intervention in the sea, with expanded material on invertebrates and recent research. Includes reference appendices, a glossary, color photos, and chapter summaries and review questions. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897893251
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/1993
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

CAROLINE B. BRETTELL is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Fieldwork, Text, and Audience 1
Pt. I Contested Texts: Implications for Fieldwork and Rapport 25
1 Unintended Consequences: The Myth of "The Return" in Anthropological Fieldwork 27
2 Responding to the Anthropologist: When the Spiritual Baptists of Trinidad Read What I Write about Them 37
Pt. II Politicized Texts: Insider, Outsider, and Ethnographic Authority 49
3 Involvement, Detachment, and Representation on Corsica 51
4 Fieldwork in Quebec, Scholarly Reviews, and Anthropological Dialogues 67
5 The Student of Culture and the Ethnography of Irish Intellectuals 75
Pt. III Mediated Texts: Issues of Representation and Identity 91
6 Whose History Is It? Selection and Representation in the Creation of a Text 93
7 When They Read What the Papers Say We Wrote 107
Pt. IV Collaborative Texts: Ethics, Negotiation, and Compromise 119
8 Is Anonymity Possible? Writing about Refugees in the United States 121
9 Just Stories of Ethnographic Authority 131
10 Myths of Objectivity and the Collaborative Process in Life History Research 145
11 The Case of Mistaken Identity: Problems in Representing Women on the Right 163
Bibliography 177
Index 193
About the Editor and Contributors 199
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