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

Abstract

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.