The scientific problem with ethnographies is that… the investigator cannot be separated from the work. It is impossible to have an objective ethnography because the process of the investigation requires the investigator to apply his own biases and defenses to the work. You strive for neutrality, of course, but there is always conscious awareness that you can’t reach it. It mitigates this by weaving within it a narrative about the investigator, the investigator becomes explicitly part of the research, so the reader can (conceivably) make some guesses about why this particular investigator saw this particular thing in this particular way.
right, I neglected that in trying to write about needy kids.
at the time I was in one of moods of feeling completely sick of myself so I purposely tried not to say anything directly about myself in that piece.
which is why I used an example of another person’s childhood instead of my own.
the researcher, through no fault of anyone at all, grew up almost completely alone
adults were unsettled by the way she talked and wrote, and loved books and reading and poetry, and she was constantly being told “you think too much”
when other kids tried to include her she could never bring herself to care about games and gossip when the whole wide world was so fascinating and waiting to be discovered
she starved for just one understanding mind the whole time she was growing up
she lived, and still lives, thinking that everyone knows or has something she doesn’t
and that this lack of something prevents anyone from loving her
her thought processes are the most fucked up ever
– you are going to leave just like everyone else
– I will show you how difficult I am so that if you decide to stay, I can be sure that you know what you’re getting into
– When you leave I will tell myself I was right about you
– if I can keep from feeling anything I will be in complete control of myself
one day: what could she possibly see in me?
the next day: how can she not see?
one day: I would only do this for her, how can it mean so little
the next day: this means nothing coming from someone like me
one day: no one should have to put up with me
the next day: you would be so happy with me
one day: i don’t have a name for this
the next day: this is called love