Uncertainty, failure and reciprocal ethnography

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Doing anthropology and writing ethnography are always collaborative, even though this collaborative dimension is most often hidden in the texts that anthropologists write. In this chapter I reflect on the conflicts and entanglements that accompany the collaborative process of producing anthropological knowledge, reflecting on the radical experiment that I carried out with my friend Liria Hernández. This was Writing Friendship, a book where Liria and myself—former informant and anthropologist—described and analysed each other and each other’s worlds. I examine the ambiguities, uncertainties and failures that shaped our reciprocal task in the light of the experiences and writings of some earlier women ethnographers such as Ela Cara Deloria, Edith Turner and Marion Benedict. My aim is to throw light on the institutional frameworks that enable but also constrain the anthropological enterprise.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender and genre in ethnographic writing
EditorsElisabeth Tauber, Dorothy Zinn
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9783030717261
ISBN (Print)9783030717254, 9783030717285
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2021

Publication series

NamePalgrave studies in literary anthropology
ISSN (Print)2946-4218
ISSN (Electronic)2946-4226


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