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Ethnographic Family Research: Opportunities and Challenges of Doing Fieldwork on Chinese Intergenerational Relations in Singapore

Göransson, Kristina LU (2011) In Journal of Comparative Family Studies 42(6). p.903-903
Abstract (Swedish)
Abstract in Undetermined

This paper addresses the use of ethnographic methods in the field known as family studies. While ethnographic methods are fundamental in the anthropological study of kinship and family, quantitative methods have long dominated family studies. To grasp the ideas and actions of human beings, however, we must pay attention to their intentions and recognize that intentions are not necessarily simply pragmatic reactions to economic or political conditions. One reward of ethnographic fieldwork is that the extended timeframe enables the researcher to gain insights into the construction of meaning in everyday life. Based on the author's experiences during long-term fieldwork on intergenerational... (More)
Abstract in Undetermined

This paper addresses the use of ethnographic methods in the field known as family studies. While ethnographic methods are fundamental in the anthropological study of kinship and family, quantitative methods have long dominated family studies. To grasp the ideas and actions of human beings, however, we must pay attention to their intentions and recognize that intentions are not necessarily simply pragmatic reactions to economic or political conditions. One reward of ethnographic fieldwork is that the extended timeframe enables the researcher to gain insights into the construction of meaning in everyday life. Based on the author's experiences during long-term fieldwork on intergenerational expectations and obligations in Singapore, the paper demonstrates how the role of the researcher, as well as the accumulation of ethnographic data, is shaped and constructed in interaction with informants. While an anthropological approach contributes to an in-depth understanding of family practices on the ground, it requires a high degree of self-reflexivity with regard to fieldwork relations and the interpretation of data, since the ethnographer's social position, including age, gender, class, and ethnicity/nationality, inevitably shapes the access to informants. The paper sheds light on the different aspects of fieldwork and the process of ethnographic understanding. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Comparative Family Studies
volume
42
issue
6
pages
903 - 903
publisher
Calgary, Alberta: J. L. A. Horna
external identifiers
  • wos:000296824100010
ISSN
0047-2328
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e8b33989-76bf-48f5-a214-6caf2eef029d (old id 2167784)
date added to LUP
2011-11-17 18:00:16
date last changed
2016-04-15 22:49:50
@article{e8b33989-76bf-48f5-a214-6caf2eef029d,
  abstract     = {<b>Abstract in Undetermined</b><br/><br>
This paper addresses the use of ethnographic methods in the field known as family studies. While ethnographic methods are fundamental in the anthropological study of kinship and family, quantitative methods have long dominated family studies. To grasp the ideas and actions of human beings, however, we must pay attention to their intentions and recognize that intentions are not necessarily simply pragmatic reactions to economic or political conditions. One reward of ethnographic fieldwork is that the extended timeframe enables the researcher to gain insights into the construction of meaning in everyday life. Based on the author's experiences during long-term fieldwork on intergenerational expectations and obligations in Singapore, the paper demonstrates how the role of the researcher, as well as the accumulation of ethnographic data, is shaped and constructed in interaction with informants. While an anthropological approach contributes to an in-depth understanding of family practices on the ground, it requires a high degree of self-reflexivity with regard to fieldwork relations and the interpretation of data, since the ethnographer's social position, including age, gender, class, and ethnicity/nationality, inevitably shapes the access to informants. The paper sheds light on the different aspects of fieldwork and the process of ethnographic understanding.},
  author       = {Göransson, Kristina},
  issn         = {0047-2328},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {903--903},
  publisher    = {Calgary, Alberta: J. L. A. Horna},
  series       = {Journal of Comparative Family Studies},
  title        = {Ethnographic Family Research: Opportunities and Challenges of Doing Fieldwork on Chinese Intergenerational Relations in Singapore},
  volume       = {42},
  year         = {2011},
}