On Becoming "White" Through Ethnographic Fieldwork in Ghana: Are ideas imperial by course?

Resource type
Date created
2016
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Ghana, and the growing number of studies on “sanism” (or psychiatric oppression), this paper revisits outstanding methodological concerns around privilege and power, body and space, language and the liminality of social categories, as a platform to reconsider the insider/outsider debate. It ponders openly, and hopefully collectively, the implications of expanding research interests, so, too, the very circulation of ideas, against what the author is analytically describing as the experience of becoming “White.” The article focuses on questions that fieldwork exposed about researcher identity and “belonging,” not least the risk of essentialism. In effect, it seeks to demonstrate the ethical and epistemological dilemmas that arise from giving account, toward a more sensitive way in academia, relationship building, and solidarity work—where, when, how, or whether, critical ethnography can relinquish, reimagine, or altogether transform its dialectical tensions without undermining ends of resistance?
Published as
Nabbali, E. M. (2016). On Becoming "White" through Ethnographic Fieldwork in Ghana: Are ideas imperial by course? Language, Discourse, & Society, 4(1), 83-110. Retrieved from http://www.language-and-society.org/journal/4-1/5_Nabbali.pdf
Publication details
Publication title
Language, Discourse, & Society
Document title
On Becoming "White" Through Ethnographic Fieldwork in Ghana: Are ideas imperial by course?
Date
2016
Volume
4
Issue
1
First page
83
Last page
110
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Permissions
You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions: You must give attribution to the work (but not in any way that suggests that the author endorses you or your use of the work); You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
Yes
Language
Member of collection