“Now it’s your turn!” Identifying positionalities and boundary shifting in ethnographic fieldwork
"Agora é seu turno!" identificando a posicionalidade e as mudanças de fronteiras no trabalho de campo etnográfico
Palavras-chave:Migration studies; Ethnographic fieldwork; Positional reflexivity; Boundary lens
In the field of migration studies there has been significant debate around the advantages associated with sharing a national or ethnic belonging with research participants. This article joins the recent contributions of female migrant investigators who have opted for what I here refer to as positional reflexivity, questioning the aprioristic conditions of insiderness or outsiderness and advocating for a constant revision of the positionalities and negotiations of power that come into play in the field. I describe the considerations generated by the implementation of this approach in a qualitative study I carried out in the Italian region of Veneto, in which I examined the complex and shifting boundaries that were explicitly mentioned during my encounters with key informants in institutional and associational environments, as well as during interviews with first and second-generation Argentinian migrants. I observe that multiple positionalities such as legal status, university position, national and provincial origin, ethnic origin, migratory generation, gender and age conditioned my interactions with research participants.
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