"Culprits at Home": Pitfalls and Opportunities in Research on Domestic Racists


  • Christa Markom University of Vienna




racism, anthropology at home, Austria, mainstream society, self-reflexive research


Only a few anthropologists have conducted "anthropology at home" on racism and discussed their problems during research afterwards. Working on and with "offenders at home" can lead to challenges within the field and during the analysis. The objective of this article is to discuss my own theoretical and methodological approach as an "anthropologist at home" during my fieldwork with three different speech communities (two of them perceived as racist and one of them as anti-racist). The article will discuss the position of "anthropology at home" within the discipline as well as the approach of my research within this field: doing anthropology at home among majoritized sections of society. Highlighting three examples from my research interviews, I will describe the different problems of distance and proximity, antipathy, sympathy and empathy encountered in the empirical research phase. The article closes with thoughts for the researcher who plans to apply an anthropology-at-home approach with (potential) offenders and the theoretical implications for research in complex societies

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs130181


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Author Biography

Christa Markom, University of Vienna

Christa MARKOM finished her Ph.D. on racism in the mainstream society in Austria in 2011 in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (University of Vienna) where she is a lecturer since 2005. Currently she is working as a researcher in a project on "Migration(s) in Textbooks. A Critical Analysis by Students, Teachers and Researchers" at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for European History and Public Spheres in Vienna.

Fields of specialization: anthropology of migration (integration, multiculturalism, racism); feminist anthropology (power relations and counter hegemonic strategies); linguistic anthropology (power and language, speech communities, freedom of speech and political correctness); regional interests: anthropology of Europe, Austria, USA.




How to Cite

Markom, C. (2012). "Culprits at Home": Pitfalls and Opportunities in Research on Domestic Racists. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-14.1.1820



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