Queer in the Field: On Emotions, Temporality, and Performativity in Ethnography

Rooke, Alison. 2009. Queer in the Field: On Emotions, Temporality, and Performativity in Ethnography. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 13(2), pp. 149-160. ISSN 1089-4160 [Article]

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This article is a reflection on a year of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in and around a lesbian and gay community center in London. The research was concerned with the ways in which working class lesbian and bisexual women experience the meanings of their sexual identities on an everyday basis. I conducted participant observation in a variety of settings. Activities I took part in included volunteering at the center and running sexualities discussion groups, and photographic workshops with lesbian and bisexual women. In this article I explore the epistemological, ontological, and ethical dimensions of ethnographic research. I argue here that queer ethnography is not merely ethnography that has focus on researching queer lives, it is also a matter of taking queer theory seriously in order to question the conventions of ethnographic research, specifically the stability and coherence of the ethnographic self and performativity of the ethnographic self in writing and doing research. To queer ethnography then, is to bend the established orientation of ethnography in its method, ethics, and reflexive philosophical principles.

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Date Deposited:

14 Oct 2013 08:57

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 12:23

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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