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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:An exposé ethnography of Zimbabwe's internally displaced ex-farm workers: practical and ethical dilemmas
Author:Hartnack, Andrew
Year:2009
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa (ISSN 0258-0144)
Volume:32
Issue:3-4
Pages:117-127
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:displaced persons
agricultural workers
anthropological research
professional ethics
fieldwork
Abstract:From 2000 onwards, Zimbabwe's often violent land invasions displaced at least 500,000 farm workers from white-owned commercial farms across the country. Little ethnographic research has been conducted on the impact of displacement on evicted farm workers, while there is a huge need for in-depth, ethnographic research on the post-displacement situations of evicted farm workers: an exposé ethnography that would ensure that the complexities of their experiences, the injustices they faced, and their responses were recorded and broadcast to those unfamiliar with their situation. However, for vulnerable populations of displaced people such attention may not be welcome. This brings into question the value of exposé ethnography and raises many ethical questions for anthropologists working in difficult research environments. The present paper explores the practical, political and ethical challenges associated with conducting ethnographic research with one group of displaced farm workers in Zimbabwe. Ultimately, it explores the thin line between the need for exposé ethnography in unjust societies and the need to ensure that displaced populations are not brought into further danger by the unwanted attention such research might bring them. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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