A Passage to Indiana: Reflections on Fieldwork in a Reverse Direction
Mathur, Chandana (2006) A Passage to Indiana: Reflections on Fieldwork in a Reverse Direction. Indian Folklife (23). pp. 21-22. ISSN 0972-6470
My two years (1989-91) of dissertation fieldwork were spent in Southern Indiana in a small town located near the flagship plant of a major multinational corporation, the Aluminium Company of America (Alcoa). As an Indian woman anthropologist whose work centres on mainstream American culture, I have become well used to the inevitable amused chuckle drawn by this disclosure. Any exploration of the intentions underlying the project, of the fieldwork experience itself, of the particular difficulties involved in writing about it, and (most pertinently for this collection) of the residues remaining, however, requires reaching beyond the cheap paradox element of this fieldwork encounter.
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