Fieldwork among the Harijans
This chapter begins with a brief discussion of ethnography, the practice of living with a particular group of people, adopting their diet and dress, speaking their language, and participating in their way of life. It argues that in doing so one achieves a kind understanding that cannot be replicated by conducting surveys, reading novels, watching movies, measuring land holdings, charting calorie intake or cranial size, studying history, analyzing language, conducting experiments, or any of the other methods employed by the human sciences. It identifies two critiques urging the abandonment of ethnography: Both of them originate in literary circles: one of them postmodern and epistemological, the other postcolonial and moral. The author's fieldwork experiences are detailed.
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