AO: The analysts argue that within some communities (they name the Central bank of Chile or an environmental NGO in Costa Rica or an alternative art space in Tokyo), there are preexisting ethnographic consciousness or curiousity (termed para-ethnography). They argue that these groups should be perceived as epistemic partners in collaborative ethnography (84).
AO: the analysts noted that conceptualization and investigation around interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration processes and outcomes has been led by behavioral scientists, and, as such, many of the evaluation strategies use behavioral methodologies (e.g., self-report surveys, latent variable analyses)” (S244)
AO: Multi-partner rather than multi-stakeholder in order to highlight the sense of shared commitment necessary for the relationships described. “Multi-partner collaborations consist of “a group of individuals from different institutions choosing to work together towards a common goal” (2).
AO: The analysts mention unplanned examples of collaborative synthesis projects that were developed after having face-to-face discussions, with the incentive and opportunity of additional available funding, after which the online collaborative tools were utilized. The analysts use this example to highlight the importance not just of being connected but of knowing each other. The analysts note that the participating individuals knew one another, shared mutual interests, and a sufficient level of trust had been established that enabled the development of a new idea and a funding proposal (5).
AO: The analysts stress that someone from the community should be hired to conduct this method noting: “Researchers from outside of these communities cannot obtain full or nuanced understandings of the existing contexts, histories, needs, and community responses, while a local will already have tacit and experiential knowledge of these elements.” (9) This person should be a full member of the team.
AO: The analysts note the importance of having an “insider” on the research team: “ Interpreting refusal and consent is a collective judgement based on engagement with the specific contexts and stakes of the research. This requires working with community members closely, and is why it is crucial to have at least one paid community member as part of the research team for this method” (18)
AO: They call out a certain kind of “love” for big, Euro-American, largely white and male theory has come to be the distinguishing mark of “serious” scholarship for so much of the social sciences and humanities (2017) and call for recognition that like everything else, theory has its contexts, histories, politics.
AO: The analyst notes that even within the discipline, there is great divide over the “integrity” of research as it relates to engagement with the study community.
AO: According to these analysts, the ideal collaboration requires being part of the same shared epistemic culture.
AO: Tsing notes : “taking the knowledge claims of scientists—which focus on connection, not difference—at face value as well as training ourselves (anthropologists) in mycology and forest ecology) is important since these dis- ciplines teach us new ways to appreciate the mushrooms. (381).
AO: Tsing notes that the various language expertises were important and sharing that talent without dividing the labor was important to share the gift of immersion fieldwork, the shifting research object (382).
She seems to argue that the epistemic culture amongst anthropologists encourages healthy collaborative relations between researchers and their interlocutors, but less healthy relationships between researchers themselves. This is rooted in academic competition for prestige and position and the “lone-wolf mentality” that characterizes traditional approaches to ethnography.
This blog post is getting at assumptions about differences in “quality” between the products of the epistemic cultures of the global north and the global south. Influenced by enduring racist and ethnocentric ideologies of “enlightened” colonialism, and intertwined with contemporary strains of western liberalism, much of the discourse around development takes "cpacity building" as a given. But Bouka is arguing that scholars from "the south" have long been active and valuable participants in Western academic discourses as producers of knowledge. It’s not so much capacity building that is needed, as it a recognition of Southern scholar’s existing capacities and long-established contributions to Southern and Northern academic discourses alike.