Of Women and Belonging
Ethnographic encounters in the borderland of Gurez, Jammu and Kashmir
I explore issues of identity and belonging in the field as a woman researcher, through encounters and narratives that highlight vulnerabilities in doing ethnography in a hostile borderland in Jammu and Kashmir. The contested notions of belonging – as a woman and as a researcher in the field – often proves challenging for female researchers who have to be mindful of both these identities at the same time. The field constantly reminds ‘the researcher’ of her identity as a woman, and here lies the difficult task of carrying out the fieldwork while remaining true to both. The challenges that a woman researcher faces can be overcome if she finds a way to negotiate her belonging in the field with herself, and with her participants.
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