Observing the Observer: Understanding Our Selves in Field Research

Ethnography or participant observation research has been performed since the early nineteenth century and is now one of the most common ways for field researchers to gain an in-depth understanding of social life. In Observing the Observer: Understanding Our Selves in Field Research-the only book that covers the issue of reflexivity in field research-author Shulamit Reinharz provides a captivating analysis of her yearlong stay in Israel, where she engaged in a study of aging on a kibbutz. Exploring the issue of reflexivity, this unique volume focuses on the key tool in fieldwork-the self. It discusses how the many facets of the self (or selves ) of a researcher-research selves, personal selves, and situational selves-can affect how research is enacted and reported on. The book addresses many of the current debates on fieldwork, especially those that have arisen in the feminist literature. Ideal for graduate courses in qualitative research methods, ethnographic methods, or ethnography, Observing the Observer can also be used in upper-level undergraduate courses on qualitative methods.