Researching Food in Mwanza
While based on the well-known anthropological practices of observation, formal interviews, casual discussions, network analysis, and archival research, my field methods were most strongly shaped by the basic considerations of where I could go and with whom I could speak. For instance prior to my arrival in Mwanza, I was interested in not only interviewing fishermen1 but also going out on Lake Victoria with them to learn more about how, where, when, what, and with whom they fished as well as how they preserved their catches in the equatorial sun. But my plans quickly faded in light of my assistants’ “reluctance” and the discouragement of market officials and some fishermen themselves who argued, among other points, that the many illegal fish and beer smugglers plying the lake between Kenya and Tanzania made it too dangerous.
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