Researcher as learner, participants as knowers: an ethnographic snapshot of women sharing knowledge in a rural Uganda community
Janzen, Melanie D.
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This snapshot ethnographic research was conducted in Kihande Village in Uganda with the Agabagaya Women’s Group for a period of five weeks in 2004. Using a feminist ethnographic methodology, the researcher explores how women value, share and pursue knowledge informally among themselves to support themselves, their families and their communities. The analysis indicates that the women of Agabagaya are knowers in their worlds, that they actively pursue educational opportunities and development opportunities, and that they do so from a grassroots level. This particular group does not rely on and may actually be hindered by external development organizations and outside educational influences with top-down models. However, the group does use external development agencies when there is opportunity for the group to benefit. The researcher further explores the positions and implications of a white, Western researcher conducting research in a developing, non-white country and discovers that positive and respectful relationships are at the heart of the research process and that the participants control many aspects of the research itself.