Doing Fieldwork in Multi-Ethnic Southwest China: Positionality and Reflexivity of a Semi-Native Anthropologist

Professor Yu Luo is a cultural anthropologist at City University of Hong Kong who will be joining our Department of Sociology & Anthropology and Asian Studies Program as the Barnett Chair in China Studies this coming fall.

How does an anthropologist with a certain "native" status observe and write about their own culture? Could returning to one's "home" for fieldwork feel "foreign" to the anthropologist? And, what can awkward, uncomfortable moments during fieldwork inform us about the power relation between the ethnographer and informants that intersects with issues of ethnicity, gender, and class? Reflecting on fieldwork encounters as an anthropologist with ethnic minority background in southwest China, the presenter will facilitate a discussion about the sense of self in ethnographic practices.

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