On Reflexivity in Ethnographic Practice and Knowledge Production
Thoughts from the Arab Region
Keywords:Reflexivity, Ethnography, Knowledge, Collaboration, Arab region
Deployed as much during fieldwork as in writing, reflexivity is itself positioned, its saliency as an epistemological device having transformed over time and space. Re-tracing its initial absence, subsequent rise in popularity and eventual routinization in academia, we position ourselves against reflexivity’s near-total displacement today by a narrow and increasingly prevalent understanding of positionality. We argue for a return to a broader and more relational understanding of reflexivity, proposing a methodological program to achieve and maintain its critical, ethical and political edge. Our aim is to engage in conversation about the value of reflexivity as an iterative and collaborative ethnographic endeavour with potential to produce more relational and engaged knowledge about increasingly overbearing field-sites in the Arab region and beyond.
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