Insiders and Outsiders in Baluchistan: Western and Indigenous Perspectives on Ecology and Development
Race and Ethnicity
Social and Behavioral Sciences
We have generally become used to the idea that ethnographers are a part of what they study. They live in the community they study and participate in the events and (ideally) in the social and cultural processes which they analyze and interpret. They cannot stand either theoretically or methodologically outside what they study - even though we do not perhaps all of us always manage to follow through with the implications of this condition. The evolutionary ecologist knows implicitly that his professional activity, like all other human activity, takes place within the evolutionary process. But this orientation towards his subject matter tends to be very different from that of the ethnographer. Other investigators, and particularly economists and development planners, study unequivocally from without - they translate the laboratory-objectivity tradition of Western scientific method into the field. The growing emphasis on popular participation in development planning and implementation draws attention to these differences of orientation. In this chapter a case from Baluchistan will illustrate the significance of the difference.