This article discusses ethnographic fieldwork among nine- and ten-year-old children in an international school in Finland. It elaborates on the myth of going native and on the researcher’s performance and negotiation of various roles, along with the improvisation this requires. Ethnographers cannot escape certain roles that are given to them but they can strategically use these and other roles to establish rapport and gain rich knowledge. When adults study children in an institutional setting, such as a school, they have to take into account the views and expectations of not only the children themselves but also the adults who work there. The article argues that reciprocity is an essential part of a successful ethnographic endeavour and analyses the significance of the researcher’s reciprocal involvement when conducting fieldwork among children in a school.
- Jufo-taso 2