Deconstructing Hierarchies: Autoethnographic Reflections About Field Work Developed in a Neighborhood Proximate to the Ex-Clandestine Center for Detention, Torture, and Extermination: Campo de la Ribera (Córdoba, Argentina)

Vanesa Garbero


In this article, I reflect on the development of fieldwork, exploring aspects that are related to my subjectivity, as the "knower," in the research process. It is a writing exercise framed within the literary-scientific subgenre called autoethnography, which encourages researchers to perform their own socio-analysis, question their habitus, break the illusion of a neutral distance with the object being studied, write in the first person, and express their emotions and feelings to reveal the relationship between the personal and cultural aspects of understanding social phenomena. I consider my fieldwork as a transforming experience that changes the way I look, feel, and understand the world of the researcher vis á vis my subjectivity, while proposing that the power relations established in conducting research, in its different manifestations, are relationships which are complex, variable, and negotiated with collaborators. I conclude with an introspective analysis of the hierarchies that, despite good intentions, researchers can perpetuate on the marginal communities in which they work.



autoethnography; qualitative research; fieldwork; reflexivity; personal narrative; relationship of power; narratives


Copyright (c) 2015 Vanesa Garbero

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