Development and anthropological fieldwork: Towards a symmetrical anthropology of inter-cultural relations
Keywords:development, symmetrical anthropology, hidroelectrical dam, El Diquís, Térraba, Teribe,
This text reflects on the recent science and technology studies (STS) turn in the anthropology of development. It highlights the similarities between the practice of development cooperation and ethnographic fieldwork. There has been considerable influence of STS in the post-millennium anthropology of development. How do STS and STS-inspired development studies contribute to the broader disciplinary development of anthropology? Based on contributions and concepts from Science and Technology Studies, I argue that the study of development helps us to understand our own knowledge and practice by observing how we engage with other people. The methodological principles and concepts presented in this text allow us to study inter-cultural relations symmetrically, including the researcher and his/her actions.