2 July 2007

CFP - Panel at the Australian Anthropological Society Annual Meeting (Oct 30 - Nov 2)


For the panel at the Australian Anthropological Society annual meeting

Michael Gilding (Swinburne University of Technology), Tess Lea (Charles Darwin U) and Martin Forsey (U. Western Australia) are organising a panel at the Australian Anthropological Society annual meeting that will be held at the ANU, Canberra, October 30 – November 2. (see www.aas.asn.au/conf07)

The panel will focus on the issues associated with studying elites (and those who are nearly elite) and we are calling for TASA members interested in this topic to submit a paper to us. We are looking to generate debate on this topic and we welcome a broad level of engagement with the subject - dissenting voices are welcome in other words. We aim to produce an edited volume out of the papers produced for this panel.

Please direct your inquiries to Martin Forsey:

Panel Abstract

Things are Looking Up: Researching the Rich, the Powerful and Those In-between

It is more than thirty years since Nader exhorted social researchers to ‘study up’, to cease gazing at the colonized in favour of research focused squarely on the rich and powerful on their home turf. She named access, attitudes, ethics and methodology as the main obstacles identified by her colleagues, but dismissed these objections either as issues faced in all types of fieldwork, as untested propositions, or as something we had to side-step if we are to really make a contribution to understanding the human condition. And yet, the project suggested by Nader has been barely touched by social researchers. Anthropologists in particular remains fixated on championing the subaltern, a focus that continues to hamper our ability to describe and comprehend relations of power and the social production of inequality. In calling for papers focused on the methodological, ethical and epistemological implications of conducting research among elites and the middle classes, we invite potential participants from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, those who have conducted research with upward inflections, those who are thinking of it and those who would not even consider it and are prepared to say why.