Clinically Informed Self-Reflective Immersion in Local Worlds of Suffering, Healing, and Well-Being
This chapter describes the dialectical methodology of the study: clinical ethnography. In the context of this study, clinical ethnography is defined as culturally- and clinically-informed self-reflective immersion in local worlds of suffering, healing, and wellbeing to produce data that is of clinical as well as anthropological value. This approach seeks to combine and balance the anthropological method of participant-observation with clinical evaluation of others and reflexive evaluation of self. It also encompasses rather than dichotomizes the interpretive analysis of meanings and the experiential study of embodied practice. For this study, the ethnographer employed prolonged clinical work as a field technique. This chapter argues for a framework of meta-relativism, in which relativism is itself relativized rather than blindly followed as an ideology. The goal of this method is the creation of an empathy facilitating text, transmitting to the reader a multifaceted, contextualized understanding of Peyotist lives and the ethnographer’s fieldwork experiences.
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