Society for Urban, National and Transnational/Global Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
For applied anthropologists, the issue of positionality is one that can induce fear and anxiety in the lone researcher conducting qualitative fieldwork. As a Black woman anthropologist studying male sex work and tourism in the Caribbean, these concerns are multiplied and combined with the issues of safety, expectations based on gender and nationality, and tensions with local health officials during the dissemination phase. This paper discusses the ways in which relationships constructed in one field site have shifted over time in response to various factors to include socioeconomic, political, and power dynamics. Despite the wealth of research possibilities on sex tourism in this particular location, continued exploration of this field site would also have to account for recent reports of sexual violence towards visiting women and the long-standing experiences of abuse related by foreign women involved with local sexual partners in this tourist destination. Possibilities for collaboration with regional academic researchers, however, provide an impetus to produce scholarly work in this area that can benefit ongoing regional public health research.