Being similar: other-identification during fieldwork


  • Olumide Abimbola Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology



The paper discusses instances of other-identification when the other is similar to the self, and when difference is brought out by the similar. In a situation that is explicitly legal, but whose legality is predicated on a form of illegality, conducting fieldwork might be a bit challenging. The fact that the fieldworker is a native of sorts helps overcome some difficulties, while at the same time throwing up others. This paper discusses some forms of such identifications and difficulties, and the constant negotiation that is present in the identification process.

Author Biography

Olumide Abimbola, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Olumide Abimbola is currently writing his doctoral dissertation on Igbo used clothing trade networks at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale, Germany. His general academic interests include informal trade, the international trade in used clothing, Igbo trade networks, and regional integration. He can be reached at [email protected].