Sebastian MohrRolf Lindner

Learning to get involved with people

A conversation with Rolf Lindner about the ethnographer’s fear of the field


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In his 1981 essay "Die Angst des Forschers vor dem Feld", Rolf Lindner argues that the ethnographer’s first meeting with the field might cause anxieties that, when reflected upon as part of ethnographic knowledge production, might hold important insights into the field itself on the one hand and into ethnography’s implicit normative frameworks on the other. 34 years after the publication of this essay, in this interview Rolf Lindner talks about how the essay came about, how it connected to and intervened in dominant academic discourses at the time, and what the essay’s legacy is in regard to methodical and methodological teaching in contemporary cultural anthropology.

embodiment, emotions, ethnography, fieldwork, participant observation, methodology