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the sweet pain of writing Janeiro 12, 2015

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in ethnography.
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Every article, book, or thesis begins with a first word, but getting started feels overwhelming. My worst prose derives from disorganized thinking and writing, and over the years I’ve experimented with different systems to help me get my projects off the ground. When I map out some incremental steps, my projects seem more manageable.

First I ask myself: what do I want (or need) to write? This helps determine the best format for my research results. In some cases the format was predetermined for me – when I was a doctoral student I had to produce a dissertation of a certain minimum length. When I write for a journal, they enforce specific word counts. These days, I have a bit more freedom, but I still struggle to determine if I have a book length argument or if my research is best presented as a series of articles.

From the blog Savage Minds this very good text “Ethnographers as Writers: Getting Started”  written by just give me simple ideas in this moment of living with the sweet pain of writing!

writing self Junho 9, 2013

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in ethnography.
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To consider these questions I was drawn to what many feminists and historically unauthorized writers have sought as a favored genre, namely, the essay. Some feminists have described the “essay” as a device that is a playful medium and an open-ended form that is difficult to define. With an explicitly present narrative “I” the essayist can deploy various modes such as carefully crafted arguments, thick description, critical reflection, nonfiction, and fiction, which are polemical in nature. Contemporary feminist ethnographic work experimenting with the genre of the essay by Kamala Visweswaran (1994), Kath Weston (1998), Mary John (1996), and Ruth Behar (1996) contribute to the organization, intellectual impulse, my location as a cultural critic/ethnographer, and epistemologies of this book. For instance, Mary John, who writes as “an anthropologist in reverse,” a potential immigrant, “an impossible mix of author and native informant” and a participant-observer of the worlds of U.S. feminism and theory, uses the genre of the essay to travel between India and the United States and the fields of trans/national feminism (109). In problemetizing the disciplinary boundaries of traditional ethnography, cultural criticism, and autobiography, Kamala Visweswaran as a “hyphenated-ethnographer,” experiments with ethnographic essays and first person narratives to move between cultural and national spaces as a historical subject. She says, “If one virtue of the ethnographic essay is that it resists closure, I intend each of the essays below to open out upon adjoining essays as a means of exploring the conjectures between some arguments and disjunctures among others” (12). The possibilities inherent in essay, “[A]n amorphous, open-ended, even rebellious genre that desegregates the boundaries between self and other,” and first-person narratives especially by the traditionally “ethnographized,” writes Ruth Behar, actively distinguishes between the tabooed practices of self-revelation of the “ethnographized” verses the usual all-powerful unmarked ethnographic “I.” As “virtual ethnographer” and one who is not “anti-empiricist” either Kath Weston seeks to undermine what she refers to as the theory/data split and weaves in theory and ethnography as a queer ethnographer “reposition[ing] sexuality at the heart of the social sciences.”

Made in India – Decolonizations, Queer Sexualities, Trans/national Projects” Suparna Bhaskaran (Palgrave,2004, pp.4-5)

On Studying Ourselves and Others Maio 11, 2013

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in ethnography, teoria social.
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Just a good and teasing reading on this special number of the journal “liminalities” with the subject of “On Studying Ourselves and Others”. As Tony E. Adams & Stacy Holman Jones (editors of this issue) write:” Being certain kinds of people and choosing, claiming, affirming, bestowing, rejecting, and denying identities are acts of communication that help us understand, evaluate, and critique others. Being certain kinds of people is work—work that relies  on and emerges through embodied acts of communication—acts that take up, put on,  and push against compulsory and citational performances about what it means to be a particular kind of person, even as these acts differ across time, space, and culture (Butler, Gender Trouble; Mingé and Zimmerman; Yoshino). (…) Performing the work—of identities and communities—is work that we must do, question, and transform as scholars, specifically in our endeavors as ethnographers and autoethnographers. While ethnographic research has long included identity as a primary focus, how such research has occurred has been a topic of concern and debate (Denzin, Lincoln, and Smith; Madison). How do we study others and how do we study ourselves, asking the questions above and then waiting for and articulating— and not ignoring or exempting ourselves from—the replies? How do we become— how do we write and embody—the kinds of people we want and need to be in our  research for ourselves and for others? In our lives and worlds? How do we become  “answerable” in our words and our actions, and how is our work both responsible to and liable for the meanings it creates? (Fenske, 12)”



On Studying Ourselves and Others
edited by Tony E. Adams & Stacy Holman Jones

(editors’ introduction)

Performing Identity, Critical Reflexivity, and Community: The Hopeful Work of Studying Ourselves and Others 
Tony E. Adams & Stacy Holman Jones


(I)dentities: Considering Accountability, Reflexivity, and Intersectionality in the I and the We
Bernadette Marie Calafell

Seeking Care: Mindfulness, Reflexive Struggle, and Puffy Selves in Bullying
Keith Berry

Once Upon a Time: Looking to the Ecstatic Past for Queer Futurity
Julie Cosenza

Notes from a Pretty Straight Girl: Questioning Identities in the Field
Sandra L. Faulkner

Finding “Home” in/through Latinidad Ethnography: Experiencing Community in the Field with “My People”
Wilfredo Alvarez

Collaborative Intersectionality: Negotiating Identity, Liminal Spaces, and Ethnographic Research
Brielle Plump & Patricia Geist-Martin

Blackgirl Blogs, Auto/ethnography, and Crunk Feminism
Robin M. Boylorn

Listening for Echoes: Hypertext, Performativity, and Online Narratives of Grief
Kurt Lindemannn