Changing forms of ethnography and shifting researcher positioning in the study of a Mexican martial art
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Xilam is a new Mexican martial art that continues to evolve in terms of its organisation and promotion. As part of the emerging interdisciplinary field of martial arts studies, my project began with full immersion within Xilam through an embodied ethnography and as a newcomer to Mexico. Yet my position shifted with increased linguistic capabilities, the closing of my fieldwork site and new opportunities for data collection and writing. From phenomenological methods to digital ethnography and life history, my methods changed as new questions were asked. This chapter explores how both the subject (the researcher) and the object (the ethnos) of study altered over the course of my investigation, and how I embraced this change in order to continue the writing (the –graphy) to create this messy ethnography. I argue that through such a messy methodology social scientists can get behind the murkiness of social life within and between disciplines.
Jennings, G. (2018). Changing forms of ethnography and shifting researcher positioning in the study of a Mexican martial art. In A. Plows (Ed.) Messy ethnographies in action (pp. 41-50). Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press.
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