In addressing Nancy Scheper-Hughes's (1995) call for 'the primacy of the ethical' in anthropological research, this paper complicates anthropologists' ethical position by exploring a range of practices seen as harmful or violent by transgender-identified people. I argue that an ethical stance on the violence experienced by one's study participants is deeply complicated by what comes to count for participants as harm and violence. By investigating a range of social contexts and practices - political activism, social service support groups, and ethnographic practices - I argue that detailed ethnography which queries the ontological assumptions of those who claim to have experienced violence is the most effective route to acting ethically.
- Ethnographic Practice
- Grassroots Activism