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Fieldwork, or family therapy? Kinship, status, and therapeutic ethnography in Sumedang, West Java

Long, Nicholas J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4088-1661 (2022) Fieldwork, or family therapy? Kinship, status, and therapeutic ethnography in Sumedang, West Java. In: Haug, Michaela and Stolz, Rosalie, (eds.) Ethnographic Encounters: Essays in Honour of Martin Rössler. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, Cologne, DE. ISBN 9783896455123

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This essay reflects on the experience of doing anthropological fieldwork with psychotherapists, showing how research activities that initially appear to be irrelevant to an ‘anthropology of psychotherapy’ may nevertheless be framed by research participants as therapeutically significant interventions into the lives of their associates. It draws on ethnography from West Java, Indonesia, where my own attendance at a village wedding was used by a prominent psychotherapist as a tool for resolving a family dispute. The essay shows how the dissemination of psychotherapeutic knowledges in Indonesia is not only generating new forms of sociality for anthropologists to document, but also transforming the understandings, experiences, and ethics of fieldwork. Simultaneously, it sheds light on some of the tensions that currently run through family life in West Java, including tensions that are precipitated by the burgeoning of the psychotherapy industry itself. The essay features in a festschrift for the German anthropologist Martin Rössler: the analysis reveals the ongoing salience of Rössler’s work to Indonesian Studies.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 by Rüdiger Köppe Verlag
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 08:12
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2022 08:45

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