Here and there
The article discusses some of the factors that affect Caroline Knowles in her work in anthropology. She is of mixed heritage and cannot point out any specific place as her home. Because of her work complexities, she is required to frequently travel between Canada and Britain to attend duties. She works for more than one country even with the organizations funding her research having their own interests. At times, they do not consider the persons she works with or her studies. Knowles’ work is to research on the incidence of mental problems among the black minorities in Canada and London, Britain (60). The fact that she is Caucasian makes it harder for her to interact with the subjects of her study, as her race has majorly contributed to their suffering. She has to state her position as far as racism is concerned in order to make her subjects receptive. The contribution of this article to anthropology is that it expounds on the different issues that those who study anthropology go through. It also touches on the inability of the anthropologist to have a clear definition of home, as in the study of other people, the researcher’s background and culture become insignificant and vague.
It is fascinating to watch how an accomplished person such as Knowles finds it challenging to distinguish between home and the field. She is confused in coming up with the nationality and ethnicity group that she should identify with (69). Consideration of the groups she could identify with and feel at home make her realize that she does not fit perfectly in any of them. She ends up considering herself as a transnational person because her though her physical characteristic condemn her to the privileged lot in Quebec, she does not share in their beliefs. Her association with the persons in London might offer her an alternative identity, but not being born there coupled with the reputation given to the British makes her not identify with them. She cannot identify with the black persons that she works with, as she does not look like them and neither has she experienced their suffering.
Knowles, Caroline. Here and there: Doing transnational fieldwork. (1999). Constructing the Field. London. Print.