The gender in the field
Sociologia Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Milano, Italiy
The Phenomenology says that every knowledge is a perspective knowledge, because every knowledge is situated in a time and in a space. The human?s embodyment discloses a perspective overview on the world. The paper claims the aim to analyze how the sexual and gendered dimensions, which are incarnated in a determinate body, are present in the qualitative research, specifically into the ethnographic observation.
First for all, we hypotize that the gender is a bound for the access into a field and not in other, so to be man or woman is not neutral for the knowledge of a specific social context. Moreover, the performative dimension of the gender, which shows the norms that prehexist and that conduct the role?s interaction (i.e. the role?s gendered content and the role?s gendered language) is another tie in the participiant observation. The awareness that all the knowledge is gendered, requires to the fieldworker to play a double competence (ability). The researcher must use the selfreflexivity to point out his gender identity and his background on this theme: he must point out his background frame relatively to the gender, his gender behaviour?s expectations in the interaction, and his correlated opinions. The researcher, moreover, must know that exist a cultural mainstream about the gender, but that the concrete gender playing is based on the interaction in a concrete frame. So, we have a lot of concrete ways in which the gender is embodied.
The researcher on the field, so, must enter in a knowledge?s circulation in which must point attention to: the epistemic interdipendence, i.e. the knowledge borns in the symbolic interaction between the researcher and the researchered; the gendered nature of the comunicative interaction between the researcher and the researchered; the negotiable nature of the concrete managing of the gendered role in the interaction.