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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Red Stamps and Gold Stars

Fieldwork Dilemmas in Upland Socialist Asia

Red Stamps and Gold Stars brings together all the messiness, compromise, and ethical dilemmas that underscore fieldwork in upland socialist Asia and elsewhere in the Global South. These challenges can range from how to gain research access to politically sensitive border regions, to helping informants-turned-friends access appropriate health care, to reflections on how to best represent ethnic minority voices. The volume’s contributors – accomplished geographers, anthropologists, and ethnohistorians – foreground the importance of questioning one’s subjective gaze and of debating representations of “the other.”

308 pages


Table of Contents

Part 1: Heading to the Field

1 Dilemmas and Detours: Fieldwork with Ethnic Minorities in Upland Southwest China, Vietnam, and Laos / Sarah Turner

2 Comrades of Minority Policy in China, Vietnam, and Laos / Jean Michaud

Part 2: Red Stamps and Gold Stars

3 Blunders in the Field: An Ethnographic Situation Among the Drung People in Southwest China / Stéphane Gros

4 Gifts and Debts: The Morality of Fieldwork in the Wa Lands on the China-Burma Frontier / Magnus Fiskesjö

5 The Fun and Games of Taking Children to the Field in Guizhou, China / Candice Cornet

6 Socialist Rules and Postwar Politics: Reflections on Nationality and Fieldwork among the Yao in Northern Vietnam / Jennifer Sowerwine

7 Doing Fieldwork and Making Friends in Upland Northern Vietnam: Entanglements of the Professional, Personal, and Political / Christine Bonnin

8 The Backstage of Ethnography as Ethnography of the State: Coping with Officials in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic / Pierre Petit

9 Marginality in the Margins: Serendipity, Gatekeepers, and Gendered Positionalities in Fieldwork among the Khmu in Northern Laos / Karen McAllister

10 Field Research on the Margins of China and Thailand / Janet C. Sturgeon

11 Easier in Exile? Comparative Observations on Doing Research among Tibetans in Lhasa and Dharamsala / Isabelle Henrion-Dourcy

12 The Silenced Research Assistant Speaks Her Mind / Sarah Turner

Part 3: Post-Fieldwork

13 Between Engagement and Abuse: Reflections on the “Field” of Anthropology and the Power of Ethnography / Oscar Salemink

14 Textual Desert – Emotional Oasis: An Unconventional Confessional Dialogue on Field Experience / Stevan Harrell and Li Xingxing

15 Red Stamps and G

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