The book begins with short accounts of the process by which each of the authors became involved in anthropological field research. It then proceeds to describe the research itself, and the stories begin to connect as they become active collaborators. The scene shifts in the course of the narrative from China to America, and the relationship between the authors shifts from distant, wary, and somewhat hierarchical to close, egalitarian, and reciprocal.
The authors share their histories through personal stories, not technical analyses; their aim is to entertain while addressing the process of ethnography and the dynamics of international and intercultural communication.
Bamo Ayi is an anthropologist and scholar of comparative religion. She is deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Department, State Nationalities Commission, and professor of philosophy at Central Nationalities University, Beijing. Stevan Harrell is an anthropologist and translator. He is professor of anthropology at the University of Washington. Ma Lunzy is an ethnologist, historian, author, and curator. He is deputy director of Liangshan Minorities Research Institute.
"I used Fieldwork Connections in my Chinese Ethnographies course last quarter, and the students really liked it. Both the students and I thought that it gave them a much better idea of field research methods and issues than other ethnographies had done. They also liked the comparison of different researchers experiences with each other, in China, and in the US. It sparked some very productive seminar discussion about research methods and ethics. I strongly recommend it. " - Melissa J. Brown, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Stanford University
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