Presentation on theme: "Carrying out Person-Centred Ethnographic Research with Teenage Boys in Rehab in Brazil Dr. Gisella Hanley Santos Research Fellow in Public Health Sociology."— Presentation transcript:
Carrying out Person-Centred Ethnographic Research with Teenage Boys in Rehab in Brazil Dr. Gisella Hanley Santos Research Fellow in Public Health Sociology
“Emotions in the Field: The Psychology and Anthropology of Fieldwork Experience” (eds.: James Davies and Dimitrina Spencer). “The aim of this book is to help retrieve emotion from the methodological margins of fieldwork. Our task is to investigate how certain emotions evoked during fieldwork can be used to inform how we understand the situations, people, communities, and interactions comprising the lifeworlds we enter.” (Davies 2010: 1)
My Research: Identity change and resistance 19951999 Transitional living programmeDrug rehab Street childrenLow-income youth facing addiction (majority from juvenile justice system) 7 to 12 boys30 to 40 boys
Ethnographic Research Participant observation ‘Insider’ and ‘outsider’ Building rapport “Hanging out”
Person-Centred Ethnography Person-centred ethnography refers to "anthropological attempts to develop experience-near ways of describing and analysing human behaviour, subjective experience, and psychological processes" (Hollan 1997: 219).
Person-Centred Ethnography ‘Informant’ and ‘respondent’ modes of interviewing Person-centred life history interviews over numerous sessions Open-ended probes Encourage stream-of-consciousness-like narratives Focus on what experience means to respondent
Active listening skills Encourage free-flow narrative No interruptions Be comfortable with silences Avoid leading questions Focus on emic perspectives… do not assume you know what they’re talking about Be aware of your own empathetic Reflect on mirroring tendencies
What were my experiences during fieldwork? What emotions were evoked for me? A non-addict Foreign Female Researcher
“You see here I talk with you. I like it. I feel good talking to you. Now I can’t go [to the others] like this, the way I am, in this style, to talk and start talking. There has to be the right person for me to talk about this. It’s not everyone I trust. I trust you because I know you won’t harm me. I can see it in your eyes that you won’t harm me” (Johnny, 18 years old). “I needed to open myself up, right. I needed to open myself up. To talk about all my life because I kept it just to myself and I would go use [drugs], right. I would use and forget, right… So, I needed to open myself up, right, [speak of] everything that I did wrong. It was all locked inside me” (Luiz, 18 years old).
“I am embarrassed to talk about who I am, who I was, right. For you, it’s important who I am today, right. I liked doing this interview... I was proud to share my life [story] with someone… I am going to miss you. It’s like I got used [to doing the interviews], right man. Weird. I’m going to miss you. I think you’re a great person, right. You understand, right man. You could be a psychologist too. [We both laugh]. You could, you could, right man. I don’t have words. It’s very sad. On the one hand, it’s very sad, right. On the one hand, I am happy because you will achieve your goal there. But I am more sad, right man” (Luciano, 16 years old).
How to interpret these emotions? Countertransference: “[A] client visits an analyst; he talks about his life, his problems, his worries or the weather. The analyst feels something very distinctive, which does not have to do with anything that has been talked about. The analyst registers the feeling and does what the client has not done – makes a mental note of it. Thus, the analyst has made of her own body an instrument that registers an emotion that the client him- or herself is bodily playing out but without realizing it – in other words, unconsciously” (Lorimer 2010:111).
Countertransference “is valuable in that it contributes to a different way of knowing. Because it enables reflection on feelings, it allows us as ethnographers to be emotionally involved without that emotion coming to define us” (Lorimer 2010: 105) “At some level, then, being aware of my countertransferences responses allowed me to preserve my own personal integrity in an environment where personal integrity was perpetually in jeaopardy…[as] patients [struggle] to maintain their sense of self while in institutionalized care” (Lorimer 2010: 105)
“Just because an emotion is patently there does not mean that the interpretation of it is necessarily accurate” (Lorimer 2010:113).
References Francine Lorimer (2010) “Using Emotion as a Form of Knowledge in a Psychiatric Fieldwork Setting” in James Davies & Dimitrina Spencer, eds.: Emotions in the Field: The Psychology and Anthropology of Fieldwork Experience. Stanford: Stanford University Press. James Davies (2010) “Introduction: Emotions in the Field” in James Davies & Dimitrina Spencer, eds.: Emotions in the Field: The Psychology and Anthropology of Fieldwork Experience. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Doug Hollan (1997) “The Relevance of Person-Centered Ethnography to Cross-Cultural Psychiatry.” Transcultural Psychiatry 32 (2): 219-234.