EP12: Is Making Friends with the Far-Right a Good Way to Research Them? (ft. Benjamin Teitelbaum)

In ethnography there has been a long-standing tradition to prioritize the interests of research participants through a scholar-informant solidarity. This week we ask, how far should this scholar-informant solidarity go in cases where the research participants are dangerous or otherwise unsavoury?

In this episode, we interview Benjamin Teitelbaum about this question and his own work that entails a “deep hanging out” with his research subjects. As Teitelbaum describes them, “They go by many names: outsiders describe them as right-wing extremists, organized racists, or neofascists, and they tend to call themselves nationalists. I call them friends”.

This week we read “Collaborating with the Radical Right: Scholar-Informant Solidarity and the Case for an Immoral Anthropology“. In it, Teitelbaum defends his use of scholar-informant solidarity with the far right. Additionally, the article includes a series of responses to Teitelbaum’s argument from a collection of leading scholars in the field.

Matt and Victor also interviewed Teitelbaum on PlasticPills about his book on Steve Bannon and Traditionalism called War for Eternity. You can find that interview here.

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