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PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION MY OWN ETHNIC MINORITY COMMUNITY: CONSTRAINTS AND STRATEGIES Stella Mascarenhas-Keyes Small Business Service, Department of Trade.

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Presentation on theme: "PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION MY OWN ETHNIC MINORITY COMMUNITY: CONSTRAINTS AND STRATEGIES Stella Mascarenhas-Keyes Small Business Service, Department of Trade."— Presentation transcript:

1 PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION MY OWN ETHNIC MINORITY COMMUNITY: CONSTRAINTS AND STRATEGIES Stella Mascarenhas-Keyes Small Business Service, Department of Trade & Industry Paper presented to ESRC Research Methods Festival

2 STRUCTURE OF PRESENTATION Participant Observation Presentation of Self Self as Informant Writing Texts Conclusion

3 PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION Participant observation –Intensive involvement with people in their own natural environment –14 months fieldwork in Goa, India –Short periods in other parts of India, Brazil, Dubai, Portugal –Childhood in Kenya –Committee positions in Goan Associations in England

4 PRESENTATION OF SELF: MULTIPLE ETHNICITIES Multi-layered ethnicity mediated by: Time: colonial vs post-colonial periods Space: local vs international Religion: Catholocism vs Hinduism Language: English vs Konkani and Portuguese Caste: Brahmin vs non-Brahmin Dress: western clothes vs sari Food: pork/beef vs vegetarian

5 PRESENTATION OF SELF:NON- ETHNIC FACTORS Gender Marital status Family and kinship relationships Local Concepts of the scholar

6 PRESENTATION OF SELF: STRATEGIES A wardrobe of clothes! Learning the local language and script Changed eating patterns Being a good wife Devout Catholic and student of Hinduism Rationalising the research project

7 SELF AS INFORMANT Analysis of transference feelings Analysis of counter-transference feelings

8 WRITING TEXTS Egocentricism vs ethnocentricism Native audiences Professional audiences

9 CONCLUSION Objectivity vs inter-subjectivity Need for professional training Managing enduring relationships Presentation based on The Native Anthropologist: Constraints and Strategies in Research in Jackson, A. (ed.) 1986 Anthropology at Home, Association of Social Anthropologists Monograph Series, London: Tavistock


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