In this episode we discuss an innovative methodological approach to understanding reflexivity and identity when doing ethnographic fieldwork. We talk with Elizabeth Cherry, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Manhattanville College, who collaborated with fellow ethnographers Michaela DeSoucey, Assistant Professor of Sociology at North Carolina State University and Colter Ellis, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Montana State University.

We discuss their article, “Food for Thought, Thought for Food: Consumption, Identity and Ethnography,” published in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (JCE). This article brings together their field experiences studying animal rights, local food production, and cattle ranching and examines how those experiences re-shaped their own food consumption practices.

For anyone who is interested in being able to defend their claims and say that the research that they gathered was at the very least valid and that they know they were getting answers to the questions they asked, this is a good way to gauge the extent to which you as an individual may have affected the data collection process…. It’s interesting to see the ways in which our identities might shape what we find. It’s a good added methodological tool.
– Liz Cherry – 

Bonus podcasts! Check out Colter Ellis on TSP’s Office Hours Podcast to learn more about his work on beef production and labor and Michaela DeSoucey on TSP’s Office Hours Podcast to learn more about her work on food and cultural authenticity.

In this episode, we talk with Amy Schalet, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We use her work on teenage sexuality to discuss in-depth interviews and cross-cultural research.

“You take them back to their comfort zone. Or you say, ‘why did that feel so wrong’? You have to stay with them. You have to make them feel that even though they just had an explosion, emotionally, that you are with them and willing to listen to that.”
Amy Schalet-