'Married or not?': reflections on fieldwork in Botiza (Romania)
(University of Perugia)
Paper short abstract:
In this paper I will reflect upon the different "stages", appellations and roles I went through during my fieldwork in Botiza.
Paper long abstract:
In this paper I will reflect upon the different "stages", appellations and roles I went through during my fieldwork in Botiza, a village situated in the North-Western part of Romania, which has developed a form of locally managed rural tourism since 1994. My fieldwork has coincided with a period of transformation, in which there were very few tourists and local tourism politics were hardly developed, and the current moment in which the tourism demand is growing exponentially. In just a few years (from 1995 to 2001). People and the administration had to review local social dynamics, in order to organise the village and to deal with the increasing tourism demand. I analysed particularly in the moments of interactions between tourists and members of the local community and observed that whilst the impact of changes is present in politics and in practises of tourism, it is not recognized it the narratives. Having lived for a long time with a family in Botiza that hosts tourists, I observed the everyday practices of the hosts and, at a certain moment, I, the ethnographer, played a part in the context I was observing. Far from home and alone I entered local houses and met people, being named each time "the guest", "the sister", "the friend", "the teacher", "the tourist", "the stranger", "the easy girl". The very first question I was always asked was "Married or not?". The extent to which was I rejected or accepted according to the context or/and the information brought me inside my research and is certainly part of my fieldwork experience.
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Researching tourism: reflexive practice and gender