'My Friends Look Just Like Me': Research encounters in Vancouver's urban drug scence

Danya Fast

Medicine Anthropology Theory 3(2)


Drawing on eight years of research with young people who inhabit the margins of Vancouver, in this article I bring into view some of the ‘frictions’ that can arise when conducting anthropological research at home, across vast differences in power and privilege. I argue that our research subjects can also be deeply concerned with how to position themselves in relation to researchers and research studies, and with navigating the various forms of social and geographical distance and proximity that are embedded in anthropological encounters across time. Paying attention to how our research subjects position themselves in research encounters may force us to problematize tidy boundaries between ‘us’ and ‘them’.