The Rewards of Ethnography

IMG_2268By Shannon McKechnie

When I think about this past summer, most of the time I can’t believe I was in India for two months. The entire experience was so incredible, but seemed to go by so fast! There are so many things I discovered during the 8 weeks we spent in Kerala.

Ethnographic field work is hard – but unbelievably rewarding. I learned how to conduct field work as we were actually doing it, sometimes messing up or needing to take a step back, but getting to know the students of CREST was absolutely inspiring.

Going to India was my first major trip abroad further than Europe. I learned that I’m a pretty good traveler, and really enjoy working with and supporting my peers.

My analysis was broadened by the many discussions had with my fellow researchers over card games and Scrabble. I learned to listen closely and reflect on my own position within the work.

I learned that anthropological work and international travel require you to trust many people that you have only just met and JUMP outside of your comfort zone. Looking back, this was my favourite part of the project, and continues to influence me today!

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