Writing birthright: On native anthropologists and the politics of representation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The practice of “natives studying natives” is an entirely new idea in anthropology. Earlier discussions written by anthropologists self-identified as “native” or “ethno” scholars, have been concerned largely with the methodological aspects of such autoethnographic work - whether one’s native familiarity with the language, the unspoken cultural codes of the community, or one’s social ties within the research site facilitated or hindered one’s research project. Among the reasons for choosing to be an anthropologist - to step in and out of society and to study it - are those connected with family background and personality. Class, religion, and other social factors define certain experiences, and the reactions to them create new ones. The flood of reflexive writing and the arguments made for the significance of such writing for the anthropological project were an irrelevant for me from that a position.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAuto/ethnography
Subtitle of host publicationRewriting the Self and the Social
EditorsDeborah Reed-Danahay
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781000320855, 9781003136118
ISBN (Print)9781859739709, 9781859739754
StatePublished - Aug 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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