Ethnicity and the anthropologist: Negotiating identities in the field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this article I address the problematic relationship between the anthropologist's self-identity and the fieldwork process through a self-reflexive discussion of my field experiences in a Japanese factory employing both Japanese and Japanese-Brazilian migrant workers. I examine how the constant and contested negotiation of identity between field-workers and informants influences rapport, acceptance, and differential access to ethnographic information. Because of the multiple social roles that anthropologists assume in the field for research purposes, the social distance between self and other continually shifts in productive ways. The resulting psychic tension and dissonance that they experience between their external role behavior and inner sense of self can contribute to their continued self-development and is linked to the emergence of analytical and theoretical frameworks, [fieldwork methods, identity and self, ethnicity, Japan].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-124
Number of pages18
JournalAnthropological Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethnicity and the anthropologist: Negotiating identities in the field'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this