ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On Conducting a Policy Ethnography in South Asia

Translating Experience into Enunciation

A researcher reflects on what it means to translate policy ethnography into action.

Conducting an ethnography is, more often than not, a transformative experience. More so if it is done with those who are propelled by normative concerns and aspirations. It “rubs off” on the researcher, who find themselves trying to make sense of the experience in language that is often limiting. How does one translate ethnographic experiences into commonly understood language, when the impact on the researcher is emotional and cerebral, all at once?

While conceptualising my doctoral research around community radio policymaking, I wanted to bring in my interest in policy studies, anthropology, media, and international studies in conversation with each other. The idea was to critique a top-down approach to policy and its study, and to open up the black box to recognise a range of policy actors, including activists and policy advocates, media and international development agencies, besides governmental bodies.

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Updated On : 31st May, 2021

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