Ethnography of Project Process

  • SEKINE Hisao
    Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba

Bibliographic Information

Other Title
  • プロジェクト・プロセスの民族誌
  • プロジェクト・プロセスの民族誌--技術協力におけるリーダーシップと「外部者的権威」
  • プロジェクト プロセス ノ ミンゾクシ ギジュツ キョウリョク ニ オケル リーダーシップ ト ガイブシャテキ ケンイ
  • —Leadership and “Outsider's Authority” in Technical Assistance—
  • ―技術協力におけるリーダーシップと「外部者的権威」―

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Abstract

<p>The purpose of this study is to illustrate the quality of outsider's authority in overseas technical assistance and then to clarify the position in that context from anthropological viewpoint. In this study, a joint research project called “MABO,” which was organized between three institutes of Solomon Islands and a Japanese university, is actually examined through ethnographical description.</p><p>From 1990s, “Participatory Development” including PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) and PLA (Participatory Learning and Action) has been a basic concept of ODA and NGO activities. However, as Robert Chambers pointed out, power relation between subordinate indigenous people and dominant outsiders or supporters remains sustained in their activities. An ideal reality that the people participate in and the outsiders facilitate the people to promote a project has not yet been realized in effect. The position and the function of outsiders are main subject of discussion on development matters at present.</p><p>The MABO project on which I focus in this paper aimed to record and research traditional performances such as dance, song, technics and stories in ethnomusicological approach and to teach how to promote such cultural project for the members of Solomon institutes. It was also an opportunity for local people to re-activate their cultural activity in rural areas. The ethnography of the project represents polyphonically the process including the start, troubles, collision and misunderstandings among the actors concerned.</p><p>By analyzing outsiders' position and attitude in the context of MABO by using a concept “Melanesian bigman,” I point out that outsiders, especially Japanese outsiders in relation with Solomon Islander staff of the project and host community in rural areas, have been situated in a position with contradictory characteristics, “overt and covert.” However, the position can also be culturally rationalized if a code of conduct based on the bigman concept functions as a linkage between contradictory situations. Outsiders' authority should not always be seen as an object be removed. “Authentic” figure of outsider in a participatory project can be formed by cultural code of leadership.</p>

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