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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From Rights to Responsibilities: Identity Politics and Ethnographic Methodology, Dialogues with South African Musicians
Author:Allen, LaraISNI
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:anthropological research
professional ethics
research methods
Architecture and the Arts
Women's Issues
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02533950608628727
Abstract:The ethnographic endeavour is often riven by a tension between two claims to the 'right' to research, asserted either on the basis of identity claims or professional expertise. A closely associated debate within the academy is characterized by an oscillation between concern about uneven power relations and the desire to maintain effective research practice. The present author, a relatively young, white, middle-class South African woman investigating the contribution made by women to the development of black urban popular music in South Africa, attempts to address the absence of voices of 'subjects' in this debate. She discusses the issue with black South African musicians, who critique both notions of identity and academic expertise as providing ethnographic authority. She proposes a shift in discourse from rights to responsibility. This progresses beyond essentialism but insists that structural power inequalities between researchers and researched be accounted for, thus moving towards more situated, responsible ethnographic theory and practice. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]