38. I say it is “practically impossible” with an emphasis on practicability. Even setting the limits of such a survey presents a challenge—would one survey how many people from a given locality were said to be gone on sakei during a specific time? But then one ought to go and see what they are really doing, and people go to a variety of far-flung places for many reasons. If their trips were of questionable legality, would they be likely to tell an outsider about them, even a sympathetic ethnographer, or might this not effectively be “informing” on friends or kin? Would, for that matter, an ethical ethnographer put subjects in the position of risking her presence on an illicit venture, or would the ethnographer travel such distances, even in mutual trust, at the risk of being caught by the authorities of one or another country? Such are the questions that might beleaguer the researcher who would attempt to undertake such a study.
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