Imitative participation and the politics of 'joining in': paid work as a methodological issue.


  • Hannah Knox University of Manchester



In this paper I explore the ways in which participation as a research methodology is challenged by new kinds of anthropological enquiry and consider, from my own experiences, what the implications of these challenges might be for our expectations of how participation contributes to the construction of anthropological knowledge. I look at the ways in which different forms of participation affect what it is possible for the ethnographer to know, and look at the value attributed to not only what we know but also how we come to know it. This has important implications for our understanding of the interrelationship between different categories of knowledge and how to situate anthropological knowledge in relation to the processes of participation from which it is in large part derived.

Author Biography

Hannah Knox, University of Manchester

Hannah Knox completed her PhD in social anthropology at the University of Manchester in 2003. Her doctoral research explored the cultural dynamics of projects of technological, social and economic change through an ethnographic study of the development of new media industries in Manchester. Hannah has recently started work as a Research Associate at the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio Cultural Change (CRESC) at the University of Manchester.