Reflexivity: Crossing That Line

1036 WordsJul 15, 20185 Pages
Reflexivity: Crossing That Line Traditionally, ethnographic works had always been about objective studies of the “other.” The discipline attempts to use non-biased methods to research of our subjects to qualify anthropology into the category of science. However, an increasing number of anthropologists begin to question the existence of objectivity in fieldwork. More recently, some anthropologists advocate the incorporation of the self, or the use of reflexivity, in the research to acknowledge our biases; at the same time, enhance the quality of our ethnographies. Others further assert that reflexivity is the only way to complete ethnographies. These propositions prompted concerns and provoked intense criticisms among scholars…show more content…
[] He does, on the one hand, clarify the practices of his informants. He openly admits that he had been making the wrong assumptions about the culture and affirms the words of informants. However, the sentiments of the headhunters remain ambiguous because his experience is not specific to the Ilongot culture. This universal sentiment about death fails to reflect the voice of his informants. While Rosaldo stands on the thin line, Behar crossed that line when she declares that “anthropology that doesn’t break your heart just isn’t worth doing anymore.” [] She wants to humanize her informants by including an emotional component. Ironically, she does so by ignoring other aspects of being a person. She neglects the daily struggles and the seemingly ordinary, yet necessary parts of life and focuses on the “grande” ideas. The perhaps “boring” and routine operations of a culture are in part what define the people. The significant events loose their grandeur when it is not contrasted to the monotony of other incidents. Will a flower still be pretty if it is not contrasted to the average leaves? From this discussion of reflexivity and determination of appropriateness, many other questions arise. Rosaldo’s use of personal experience may reveal that there exist emotions that are cross-cultural though
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