Re-producing knowledge: the social organization of fieldwork

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McKinley, Maia
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University of Guelph

Utilizing a "failed" graduate research project as a point of discussion and reflection, this thesis objectifies the field research process in an attempt to analyze key texts and social relations that organize our research in complex and problematic ways. I examine how practices such as studying abroad and conceptual frameworks based on conventional interpretations of Culture and Development contribute to the reproduction of the dominant discourse. How critical--especially feminist--theory and methods work "in and against" the dominant discourse is central to this inquiry. Moving from the specific context of the research field to the more general context of the academic field, I argue that graduate students can benefit from reflexivity which provides the means to challenge and transform the disciplines of Anthropology and Development studies through critical praxis.

Fieldwork, Social organization, Knowledge, Culture and development, Feminist