Elements of Reflexive Anthropology in Three Fieldwork Studies of the Workplace

  • Ghislaine Gallenga


Focusing on the ‘fictions’ between the ethnographer and her informants, this article deals with the delicate chemistry of fieldwork through an account of three field studies. The first explores power struggles in a bank in Marseilles; the second looks at issues related to political and economic transition in Romania through as seen through the lens of a metalwork factory; the last analyses ‘modernisation’ in the public sector in Marseilles. These studies highlight some major questions raised in the field of reflexive anthropology, including the nature of the ethnographer/informant relationship, validation, gender issues, and the exploitation of the researcher. They reveal some of the difficulties surrounding the social construction of the ethnographer in the workplace and the negotiation of roles undergone whilst in the workplace. In these three cases the ethnologist was excluded from the field, forgotten about, and caught up in a conflict.