When British anthropologist Nigel Barley set up home among the Dowayo people in northern Cameroon, he knew how fieldwork should be conducted. Unfortunately, nobody had told the Dowayo. His compulsive, witty account of first fieldwork offers a wonderfully inspiring introduction to the real life of a cultural anthropologist doing research in a Third World area. Both touching and hilarious, Barley's unconventional story-in which he survived boredom, hostility, disaster, and illness-addresses many critical issues in anthropology and in fieldwork.
"Barley's The Innocent Anthropologist is in turns maddening, provocative, subtle, and complex. I'm convinced it's a good tool for uncovering students' biases and preconceptions, both about anthropological fieldwork and about doctrinaire political correctness. Moreover, Barley's droll wit makes students laugh-even at themselves when his humor escapes them." -Sarah J. Hautzinger, Colorado College
"A good account of what is involved in doing fieldwork in anthropology that should be interesting reading for all students." -James M. Kerri, Palomar College
"This book most accurately described how I felt when I was doing my own fieldwork . . . I couldn't put the book down. Personally, I found it both witty and compassionate." -Diane C. Bates, Sam Houston State University
"A refreshingly honest insight into anthropological fieldwork. Barley reveals the realities of life and work in Africa in a most articulate, readable, humorous, and entertaining manner. If you do not like this book, it is because you do not like the message that Barley sets out to convey, i.e., life in one small African context, just as the anthropologist encountered it. Yet, this message could be most valuable to anyone engaged in the study of anthropology." -Mark Huddleston, Nebraska Christian College
"This book not only presents anthropological data but also reads like a novel. It sparkles with humor and cultural insights." -Clive Kileff, University of Tennessee
Table of Contents
The Reason Why
2. Be Prepared
3. To the Hills
4. Honi soit qui Malinowski
5. Take Me to Your Leader
6. Is the Sky Clear for You?
7. "O Cameroon, O Cradle of Our Fathers"
8. Rock Bottom
9. Ex Africa semper quid nasty
10. Rites and Wrongs
11. The Wet and the Dry
12. First and Last Fruits
13. An English Alien