Attending a doll's marriage ceremony was one of those encounters that refreshed my fieldwork memories while also providing insight into child socialization through play activities. An ethnographer's scientific task after fieldwork is to read, describe, and interpret the pictures. As a student and researcher in childhood studies, I was fascinated by the pictures' explicit and implicit details. Hence, I developed a picture reading technique that I used to read pictures as field notes. I named this technique 'SAFSI,' which stands for See, Ask, Find, See, and Interpret. Here, I elaborate on this process by using my participation in a doll's marriage as an example. -
In last few decades, the native anthropology has been highlighted for its potential to immediately grasping cultural familiarity, contextual sensitivity, and rapport building. Nevertheless, detachment from the native context is also seen as a challenge for the native researcher. This paper aims to provide invaluable information about the fieldwork experience of the author as a native researcher in rural Punjab Pakistan. The author presents and reflects the fieldwork challenges faced and the strategies used to overcome the challenges. The primary objective of this paper is to discuss the methodological strategies to face the challenges of doing at-home ethnography. This paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in native context. Dealing with contextual complexity and sensitivity with the author’s native learning, the author used native knowledge as a useful resource to investigate insider’s perspective on infant care belief practices. Furthermore, the author addressed the challenges related to building rapport, gaining friendly access to the families and children, and setting aside presumptions. The author discusses the strategies opted, such as selecting a research assistant, gaining access to the field, planning fieldwork and bracketing native presumptions. This paper provides important insight of at-home ethnography and technical understanding to conduct fieldwork in native contexts. Based on my ethnographic fieldwork, this article contributes in contemporary debates on the challenges in doing at-home ethnography.
Pregnancy is considered a special period in a woman’s life. There are myths about pregnancy that describe gender predictions, dietary beliefs, pregnancy signs, and risk of magic or witchcraft. Majority of these myths is in connection with the early childcare. In traditional societies midwives and experienced women practice and teach these myths to young mothers. Mother who feel special and vulnerable, at the same time feel secure in following these socially transmitted myths. Rural Punjab, a province of Pakistan has a culture rich with beliefs and myths. Myths about pregnancy are significant in rural culture and pregnancy care is seen as mother and childcare. This paper presents my research reflections that I did as a part of my Ph.D studies about early childcare beliefs and rituals practiced in rural Punjab, Pakistan.
The desire to be a mother is much more than a reproductive instinct in pro-baby (pro-natal) society. Motherhood is a complex phenomenon that encompasses psychological, social, and cultural aspects of a woman's holisticwell-being. A woman's socio-cultural visibility is enhanced through motherhood, which also strengthens her psychological status, enriches her spiritual experience, and ensures her economic sustainability. All of these aspects of motherhood contribute to her transformative social experience, which allows her to achieve social resilience and holistic wellbeing. This paper, with an emphasis on motherhood as a psycho-social phenomena and an experience of social resilience for a woman, provides a reflective analysis of my qualitative investigations (2016, 2017a, 2017b, 2018a, 2018b, 2019, 2021) studying the value of the child and motherhood. This paper pursues the following research questions; how does the value of the child contribute to the social experience of a woman in pro-baby societies and how does the motherhood contribute as a resource for social resilience and holistic wellbeing of the woman? I am representing these studies to highlight motherhood as a resource for social resilience contributing to holistic well-being. To that end, I organized the findings of these research into a nexus of psychological, social, and cultural dimensions of motherhood and the value of the child for a woman in Pakistani context. An interpretation of motherhood as a phenomenon provided the script of social experience of women as mothers translated into social resilience – a pathway to holistic wellbeing. The physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and familial dimensions of women's well-being are interconnected by a triangulation of psychological, social, and cultural experiences of motherhood. In this regard, motherhood shapes social resilience as an experience of change and challenge that leads to continuity and stability in pro-baby context.