Towards a carnal anthropology: R reflections of an ‘imperfect’ anthropologist



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Vartabedian, Julieta (2015) Towards a carnal anthropology: R reflections of an ‘imperfect’ anthropologist. Qualitative Research, 15 (5). pp. 568-582. ISSN 1468-7941

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This article offers an exploration into the ways in which the researcher’s body enters into a permanent dialogue with the practices and the discourses of the research participants, and is transformed into an essential investigative tool. Based on my ethnographic experience amongst a group of Brazilian travesti sex workers, I will show how my own ‘imperfect’ body, according to the travesti canons of feminine aesthetics, became an element that awarded me visibility and served as a bridge to interaction with them. At the same time, I was accidentally interpreted by the group as the ‘photographer’. From this corporeal interaction, and via the medium of the camera, I was able to legitimize my position amongst travestis and open a new field of theoretical enquiry, developing, therefore, Wacquant’s proposal (2004) on a ‘corporeal sociology’ in the understanding of the active role that the body takes in the research process.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Anthropology; Bodies; Carnal; Femininity; Fieldwork; Photographs; Researcher’s body; Travestis
Subjects:Social sciences > Sociology > Anthropology
Social sciences > Sociology > Social research
ID Code:65977
Deposited On:04 Jun 2021 08:02
Last Modified:04 Jun 2021 09:05

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