Mad Dogs, Englishmen, and the Errant Anthropologist: Fieldwork in Malaysia

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9780881339062: Mad Dogs, Englishmen, and the Errant Anthropologist: Fieldwork in Malaysia

According to Raybeck, the solitary dictum that best characterizes fieldwork is "Things go awry." In this spirited account of his time spent in Southeast Asia, Raybeck describes several adventures and misadventures involving field research, as well as the understanding, humility and bruises that these experiences leave behind. Since fieldwork is situated, Raybeck's treatment also includes rich descriptions of Kelantanese society and culture, addressing such topics as kinship, linguistics, gender relations, economics, and political structures. Through the lively pages of this narrative, readers gain insight into the human dimension of the fieldwork undertaking, a sense of how the anthropologist builds rapport in a research setting, and how reliable information is obtained.

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From the Publisher:

Title of related interest also from Waveland Press: Endicott-Endicott, The Headman Was a Woman: The Gender Egalitarian Batek of Malaysia (ISBN 9781577665267).

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"On my well-used Yamaha I began to explore roads, paths, and trails in search of an appropriate village. Motorcycles are better adapted to villages, with their winding footpaths, than are cars, which are constrained to roads. Motorcycles also allow air to cool the rider, enabling one to forget the equatorial location and to acquire a sunburn of impressive magnitude. I spent a full day in my bed, my badly sunburned arms stretched out to either side, vowing to pay greater attention to the little details of life in the tropics. Things go awry."

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