Locating Ethnography and Global Processes

Andrea Lauser


This article begins by interrogating the problem of the "global" and the "local" in anthropology and asks how their interconnections might be handled by theory and methodology. Ethnographic sites are "globalized" by means of various connections across multiple spatial scales and porous and contested boundaries. Global ethnographers, therefore, must begin their analyses by seeking out ethnographic sites and focusing on questions of location. In order to do this, I use the concept-metaphor—landscape (which APPADURAI [1991] introduced to theorize the complex interaction between global and local processes, experiences and connections)—and link it with the design of multi-sited ethnography (which George MARCUS formulated in his volume Ethnography through Thick and Thin [1998]). In this article I sketch several ethnographic sites from my research on marriage migration in trans-national perspectives ("Ein guter Mann ist harte Arbeit!", LAUSER 2004a) and demonstrate the variety of ways in which Philippine trans-national marriage migration is intertwined in complex and paradoxical ways with global, local and personal matters. Ethnographic research in a globalized world can not escape the issues of location or situatedness. I make a strong plea, therefore, for paying even greater attention to locations in writing, speaking and researching.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs050374


global ethnography; multi-sited ethnography; locating participant observation; reflexive ethnography; trans-national processes and local-global relations; ethnography of the particular

Copyright (c) 2005 Andrea Lauser

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