PUBLI : Larisa Lara, « Insights from an ethnographer : processes of immersion and self-reflection in the fieldwork », Cross Migration, en ligne


Being an ethno­gra­pher is not a simple task. Field­wor­ker­sen­gage in processes of deve­lo­ping new rela­tions, asking people for infor­ma­tion and almost inevi­tably expe­rien­cean­xiety, inse­cu­rity, depres­sion, embar­rass­ment ordis­com­fort. Besides the emotional roller-coaster encoun­tered infield­work, it is alsoan immense process of self-reflec­tion, lear­ning, nego­tia­tion and adap­ta­tion. In this brief, I present the methods that I used in my research studying Mexican migrants enga­ging in home­land poli­tics from Brus­sels and Paris. In the first section I discussthe immer­sion in the field­work as a process of nego­tia­tion between the ethno­gra­pher and the parti­ci­pants. The second section of this paper­fo­cuses on matters of reflexi­vity and posi­tio­na­lity. Emphasis is puton the fluid iden­tity and the different roles and member­ships that ethno­gra­phers adopt during their field­work. Indeed, I was not only a resear­cher but also a photo­gra­pher, a cook, an event orga­niser, a cashier, a text editor, an embroi­derer, a painter, a musi­cian, and an impro­vised graphic designer.