Pratt, Mary Louise. 1986. “Fieldwork in Common Places.” In Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, edited by James Clifford and George E. Marcus. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Pp. 27-50.
Ethnography (and critiques of it) are often treated in terms of contamination – where external forces contaminate the “purity” of the culture studied; or, the ethnographer’s study taints the realities of the cultures – metaphors of visitation, impermanent study, primitiveness.