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This definition derives from reflections upon fieldwork, conducted in the north of Portugal, with Cape Verdean migrant young women and their experiences as mothers.
The article discusses two aspects related to the fieldwork. Secondly, how becoming unexpectedly involved in a situation of intense conjugal conflict led me to reconsider my understanding of Cape Verdean gender relations. Both cases demonstrate how the endeavour to produce analytical and ethnographical knowledge was shot through with an unstable mix of detachment and involvement and how coming up against Dating cape verdean men unexpected may contribute towards the reconfiguration of ethnographic knowledge, in this specific case, with regard to the dynamics of gender relations.
The suspense created during this half hour programme, rests Dating cape verdean men the knowledge that the last few minutes will take an unexpected turn, causing the viewer to reconsider the events of the whole episode in a completely different light. The viewer consequently watches the programme in a heightened sense of alertness, eager to work things out. Anthropological fieldwork is often experienced in a similar, although usually not in such a dramatic, fashion. Yet, unlike the viewers of the television programme, who reach closure and are left marvelling at the ingenuous storytelling skills of Roald Dahl, the anthropologist, whose task is far from over, is faced with uncertainty regarding how best to proceed.
The article discusses two dimensions of my research with young Cape Verdean women living as students in a town in northern Portugal. The second relates to my sudden involvement in an unexpected incidence of conjugal conflict. Both of these aspects of the fieldwork caused me, not only to reconsider my own position, but also, to readjust the analytical lens through which I had established the field sites of my research, namely, the of Cape Verdean women and the power dynamics of gender. This implies considering participant observation as Dating cape verdean men two-way process, although different phenomena may be observed on either side.
As Stocking has noted a long time ago, they also observe the ethnographer and hold various ideas, opinions and expectations about him or her that the ethnographer may never gain complete access to. As the organizers of this series of articles suggest, dealing with the unexpected is part and parcel of anthropology and may require far more than having to readjust a hypothesis, or alter a questionnaire, because it involves becoming implicated in the research, through intersubjective relations with interlocutors.
The secretary rang them in my presence, and obtained permission to give me their phone s. This had a snow-ball effect as women contacted each other and passed on new contacts to me. The mobile phone consequently served as an important means of presenting myself to these Cape Verdean women, usually with an introductory text message, followed up, a few days later, by a phone call. On some occasions, this helped to break the ice and even caused amusement; in other instances it was met with a steadfast resolution to converse in Portuguese, so that I would eventually follow suit.
I sensed that these women were making a statement about their capacity to speak Portuguese and to integrate into Portuguese society. I was also invited to birthday parties and sometimes accompanied them to pick up their children from nurseries or nannies. The president of the association sent a young student, whom I shall call Diana, to meet me because I was unfamiliar with the town, resident in another town seventy kilometres away. Whilst we walked back to the association together, I told Diana about my research, how I wanted to meet Cape Verdean young mothers and showed her a flyer I had prepared.
It had an image of a pregnant African woman under which, eager to justify the legitimacy of my interest in Cape Verdean experiences of motherhood, I presented myself as a mother of three children who had lived in Cape Verde and spoke Creole. Diana told me she was a student helping out at the association.
Once we arrived, I was introduced to the president and did not see Diana again until the following month, when I attended an event to mark the Day of Africa 25 May. Initially, Diana claimed that she had thought I was delivering the flyer on behalf of somebody else. When I questioned her much later regarding the incident, after I had already accompanied her in appointments with her baby and conducted an in-depth interview, Diana admitted that she had felt too shy to say anything at the time. I remember wondering if I should ask her if she had a baby, but deciding not to, on the grounds that it might be too intrusive and also that if she were a mother, she would probably tell me.
I also wondered, given that she was a young student, how likely it would be anyway. Yet, as my research progressed, the majority of Cape Verdean mothers I did meet were students. Yet, the intimate nature Dating cape verdean men my research topic, coupled with the openness of some of my interlocutors, sometimes plunged us right into the deep end of interaction, creating a sense of paradoxical imbalance: meeting at the surface of our selves, discussing very personal matters. This type of intimacy did not occur in many of the other encounters which were characterized by respectful detachment.
A woman who was very open and friendly with me, made the point of stating, one day, that despite the degree of ease in our relationship, we were not friends. This to me alled awareness, on her behalf, of the importance of establishing boundaries. This helped to appease my unease that I may be trespassing on private land, by offering some kind of concrete, social networking Dating cape verdean men for the mothers in exchange for their involvement in my research.
Dating cape verdean men also gave me a much more tangible way of talking about my work, although I always made it clear that the group was separate from my research, open to everybody, whether or not I interviewed or accompanied them in appointments.
Moreover, whilst my theoretical interest was limited to researching the experiences of Cape Verdean women, this could not be artificially severed from social engagement. We resolved this issue by opening up the group to friends of Cape Verde, including men too. This served as a formal justification for not excluding anybody who should wish to become involved. A of Mozambique and Portuguese women then became involved in some of our events. We celebrated two birthday parties of the group, organized a baby clothes swopping event so that expectant mothers could receive the clothes that other babies had grown out of.
A of issues were also discussed informally during the meetings. I have discussed this at length elsewhere Challinor For these women, motherhood was not experienced as a definitive condition and since they Dating cape verdean men not have their babies with them, they showed little interest in my research or in the support group.
It is common, in the Cape Verdean context which is profoundly influenced by migration, for children to be separated from their biological mothers and to be brought up by relatives. In some cases, it became evident that to accompany a woman to a medical appointment on the first day that I met her was not the best strategy, whilst in other cases it worked well. Some mothers were eager to be interviewed and tell their story the first day I met them, others required more time but were very happy for me to accompany them in their medical appointments.
One mother, in particular, with whom I had become very involved during her troubled pregnancy, became angry, when circumstances beyond my control made it impossible to accompany her in several consecutive appointments after the baby had been born. In response to my enquiry regarding the date of the next appointment, she sent a message saying she was too busy to talk to me and there was no point telling me when the next appointment was due, since I would most likely be unable to attend. Was I a researcher, a confidante, or a kind of social worker? In cases related to renewal of visas with immigration officials and cultural mediators it made no sense not to intervene, since I had been asked to accompany the mothers in order to help.
In the medical appointments, my position was less clear; although the very act of accompanying the women in these appointments created expectations. Some of the student mothers had nobody else to go with them, 7 and a few told me that they had found it hard to go on their own and see the Portuguese women Dating cape verdean men by their own mothers or partners.
A of them also believed that they would be treated better if accompanied by a white woman. In some cases, when the doctors appeared to look and talk to me, instead of to the mother, I felt uneasy because this Dating cape verdean men to confirm their suspicions of potential racist attitudes. Yet, in other cases, when the doctors totally ignored me and only addressed the mother, I also felt slightly uneasy, as if I had no business to be there.
He interrogated me about the activities of Djunta Fidju and asked if we were interested in applying to companies for subsidies. Later, when I spoke to Clara on the phone, she said he had insisted so much that she ended up giving him my .
My description of the events that followed is based on edited field notes. Eventually the lift arrived and I recognized the same man. Today was the first time I met them face to face. Both seemed very wary of me. I sat down and told them about myself and my research and gradually they both looked more relaxed.
Antonio did most of the talking. He told me he wanted to live in the States. A few days later, I received an e-mail from the social networking technical team, congratulating me on the new network that I had purportedly created. I found my photograph, the same Dating cape verdean men as in the Djunta Fidju site, as the founding and only member of a group called Fight against Racism.
I saw them approach carrying a cooler box between them that looked very heavy. I ask if everything is OK. At the beginning, I thought it was not possible, with me as a student, but then, when I found out it was a girl it was me who decided that we would keep the baby. When he arrived home, she wanted to know where and with whom he had been. Dating cape verdean men voice began to shake, he sounded as if he were on the brink of tears. I immediately took this as a warning that he felt that the conflict between them could get out of control. I said nothing and he continued talking. He said he would put her on the phone.
I then asked if the baby was OK and finally managed to understand that it was her eye that was hurting. Clara then said that she wanted to leave but mentioned something about not having a key. This time I spoke to them both on separate phones at the same time.
I suggested that to defuse the tension he should go out, but asked him where the key was. I asked if he Dating cape verdean men be prepared to look for it. We agreed that he would Dating cape verdean men for the key and once he found it, he would ring me back and I would then return the call. I asked where he was and she said he was sitting in the living room. Did she have any friends where she could stay?
Clara just carried on crying. Given her obvious state of distress, I decided to honour this request. I then mentioned the name of a Cape Verdean mother who I knew would probably put her up for a few nights and said that if she wanted to, I could call her, but she did not reply to this and just carried on crying. I asked her if she was OK and she replied that her eye was hurting. I did not know what else to do. The whole situation was compelling me to act under pressure and I felt very unsure about becoming involved in a conjugal case the outcome of which I would always be implicated in.
The focus of my research had made me particularly sensitive to the situation of pregnant women in their potential emotional and physical fragilities. A few more moments of silence passed by whilst I listened to her crying. Clara stayed on the phone. I repeated the question. So you want me to call the police? Finally, I spoke to a policeman who took note of the address, and said someone would be there as soon as possible, as long as the victim was willing to open the door. Once again I asked Clara if she was sure that this was what she wanted and explained to her that she would have to be prepared to open the door herself to the police.
Clara confirmed that she would do this. She carried on crying while I talked. He knew all along where it was. I expected him to ring me, but he did not. I was also concerned that I had become involved in a situation that could have family and legal implications for both of them. All of this had been totally unexpected and as it changed the dynamics of the relationships between us, it also led me to reflect in more depth upon my own research.
The episode had exposed a space of gendered tensions the ificance of which began to acquire new meanings for me. Was this another episode of Cape Verdean masculinity? The sequence of events in which I had inevitably become implicated, obliged me to reconsider their ificance and to review my possibly over protectionist attitude towards Cape Verdean pregnant women by taking a more dynamic view of the complex nature of gender relations. Dating cape verdean men he have tried to call me?
Was he waiting for me to call him, now that he had given her the key? Would he have gone, leaving Clara alone in the flat? Whilst these circumstantial questions cannot be answered, they led me to address a much larger question: how is this episode to be understood in the light of the nature of Cape Verdean gender relations? I never managed to meet any of these men. Four out of the six fathers I did interview appeared to be in relatively stable, equal relationships with their partners, sharing domestic responsibilities and child care.
Vale de Almeida cit. About half an hour later, the phone rang. I mean, I ring you to ask for help and you, instead of helping, you made things worse. I trusted you because you were accompanying her in her medical Dating cape verdean men I thought you could talk with her. I said that she was vulnerable and she asked me to call the police. I was only doing what she asked me to do. I said she specifically asked me not to talk to him. I thought she was scared and asked her if she wanted me to call the police. I did what she asked me to do. Did you put any ice on it? I cooked all the meals.
I paid the rent, she never had to pay later she assured me she had always paid the whole rent for herself, with money sent from relatives in Cape Verde. My friends tell me I have to be patient, they say that pregnant women get like this, but it has been too much. He said I had ruined everything because now that the police had been called there was no way she would stay with him.Dating cape verdean men
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