Beyond Participant Observation: Collaborative Ethnography as Theoretical Innovation

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In this article I intend to draw upon Colombian collaborative ethnography as a paradigm that could have an impact on our understanding of what collaboration means, shifting our emphasis from the production of ethnography as a central goal to that of engaging in activist research that is equally productive in a broader sense for both the professional ethnographer and the community. The research from which this article is drawn was conducted with southern Colombian indigenous organizations between 1996 and 2002, with the support of the Graduate School of Georgetown University, the Instituto Colombiano de Antropología, and an international collaborative grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

Keywords: collaboration, theory, ethnography, activism, indigenous organizations

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