chapter  11
19 Pages

Ethnography, Identity, and the Production of Knowledge

WithSamer Shehata

Ethnographic fieldwork is thoroughly a subjective experience on the personal interactions of the ethnographer in the field. Thus, in ethnography, the ethnographer's self becomes a conduit of research and a primary vehicle of knowledge production. In other stories, identity and research purposes proved much more disruptive, as natives struggled to understand why an educated, connected Egyptian-American would study working-class people, much less work alongside them. Reflexivity, has also meant the examination of fieldwork as a personal and epistemological activity. The ethnographer is not an objective machine but a positioned subject, never outside the field of research and always radically implicated in the production of knowledge. All researchers are implicated in the knowledge they produce. In ethnography, however, this becomes particularly difficult to disguise, in light of the central role of the ethnographic self in the production of claims to knowledge.