Antropologův den mezi „klienty represe“: zúčastněné pozorování bezdomovců ve středně velkém městě

Ondřej Hejnal email
   Katedra antropologie, Filozofická fakulta, Západočeská univerzita v Plzni


The aim of this study is to describe some of the advantages of participant observation in the study of the urban homeless. The specific way in which the homeless subsist has led local politicians to call them “the Clients of Repression”, thus the title of the article. Presently, the original concept of long-term stationary participant observation – as seen, for example, in Malinowski’s pioneering fieldwork – is not so common in the study of contemporary complex societies. Urban anthropologists increasingly focus on shorter iterative research visits among analyzed populations. In this article I will try to define participant observation and summarize the methodological procedures applied by Czech and foreign ethnographers of the homelessness. In addition, I will describe a day of my fieldwork spent in active participation in the common activities of “the Clients of Repression”, and I will accentuate some specific findings obtained during this day. Finally, I will emphasize some of the problematic aspects of my fieldwork (i.e. law violation) which constitute an inseparable part of participant observation among the homeless.

Klíčová slova

homelessness; participant observation; methodology; primary data

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