Becoming a memsahib: working with the Indian Administrative Service

P. Shurmer-Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Studying elites may seem to be one way of avoiding the guilt associated with the betrayals inherent in participant observation. However, work with members of the Indian Administrative Service showed them to be vulnerable in conditions of structural readjustment. The author examines the ways in which recognition of the multiple positionings of an ethnographer and those being studied can create a space for new collaborative relationships between researcher and researched. In this study the ethnographer found that the research relationship necessitated her acceptance of an imperialist past and a privileged status which she normally preferred to deny.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2163-2179
    Number of pages17
    JournalEnvironment and Planning A
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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