NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED228144
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Dec
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
"In the End You Will Carry Me in Your Car": Sexual Politics in the Field.
Abbott, Susan
A conflict between the author, engaged in doctoral research in a rural Kenyan community, and an older village woman is narrated. The author suggests that anthropologists must be sensitive to the way in which their own cultural perceptions influence their interpretations of women's behavior in other cultures. The Kenyan village is characterized by two principles of authority: older persons have authority over younger and males have authority over females. However, while men are awarded rightful dominance, women have real power, particularly in the domestic arena. The conflict occurred when the older village woman instructed the other village women not to participate in the research that the narrator was carrying out. When confronted, the older woman asserted that the researcher should have asked permission to interview "her" women. The offended woman made attempts to have local authorities oust the research team from the village. Although eventually the research was completed, the author realizes that she had unwittingly placed herself in competition with the older woman for power over the other women. Both women, by manifesting values, attitudes, and behaviors expected of women in their own cultures, collectively contributed to the conflict. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Kenya
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (Washington, DC, December 1982).