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Killing Your NeighborsFriendship and Violence in Northern Kenya and Beyond$
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Jon D. Holtzman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291911

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291911.001.0001

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Being There, Being Friends, Being Uncertain

Being There, Being Friends, Being Uncertain

Chapter:
(p.28) 1 Being There, Being Friends, Being Uncertain
Source:
Killing Your Neighbors
Author(s):

Jon D. Holtzman

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520291911.003.0002

Organized around an incident of violence, rife with ambiguity, in which I was tangentially at risk, I consider the extent to which uncertainty is more than a characteristic of fieldwork and of the texts produced by it. Rather, as ethnographers working in contexts of violence, we document uncertainty as the material of our accounts. Thus, my own uncertainty about how close I may have come to being inadvertently killed in this particular incident is far less important than the fact that intrinsic to the lives of my interlocutors is the uncertainty of being unable to fully explain why the violent events described in this book occur, who is responsible and how and when this may directly affect their own lives.

Keywords:   Violence, ambiguity, narrative, uncertainty, Kenya, ethnography

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