Anthropological Research and Emotions

Is is really possible to keep personal feelings separate from work? Many would argue that this is essential in conducting research, especially in the field of anthropology, but how is that really possible when sensory is inevitable when conducting this research? Is using your senses actually an effective way in observing?

Elizabeth P. Challinor talks about how senses may interact with research in the her article, “Sensory ways of knowing when research tunes into emotions”. She gives the readers insight to her old field notes and shares an excerpt in when she spent time with some Cape Verdean friends. She explains how throughout the fun conversation, in a language she wasn’t quite familiar with, she could not help but smile along even though she couldn’t quite follow what was happening in the story. She describes the mans use of animated gestures and loud laughs and attributes that to the contagiousness of the happiness she felt all around her. Should anthropologists allow their senses to act as another tool in research along with the survey , statistics, etc? Maybe the mixing of tuning in emotions into research will allow anthropologists to really become one with another s culture and give a deeper understanding in which plain questionnaires cannot give.