Doubts, compromises, and ideals: attempting a reciprocal life story

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In this article I reflect on my attempt to co-author a reciprocal life story with my friend Liria de la Cruz, a semi-literate Gypsy/Roma street seller from Madrid⎯a book where we examine together our intertwined stories. Much has been made of the assumed capacity of collaborative methodologies to transform ethnography for the better. Yet as Liria and I try to find ways to work together, we struggle to reconcile our reciprocal approach with the conventions of the ethnographic genre and the expectations of our scholarly audience. I reflect on our difficulties for what they reveal about the complex encounter between the non-hierarchical aims of collaboration and those of academic anthropology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-108
Number of pages18
JournalAnthropology and Humanism
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Collaboration
  • Reciprocity
  • Ethnography
  • Friendship
  • Life story


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