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Reflecting the “Field”

Two Vepsian Villages and three Researchers

Laura Siragusa and Madis Arukask

In this article we problematize the concept of the “field” in social research, stemming from and expanding the discussion presented in the introduction to this issue. We demonstrate that for social researchers a field site transcends the

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Dmitry V. Arzyutov and Sergei A. Kan

One of the fundamental principles of anthropology is that it is based on fieldwork. 1 It is the field that “helps define anthropology as a discipline in both senses of the word, constructing a space of possibilities while at the same time drawing

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Traversing Fields

Affective Continuities across Muslim and Christian Settings in Berlin

Omar Kasmani and Dominik Mattes

prayer gatherings in these two religious settings as a way to capture locally specific workings of affect and sensation. At the same time, we wish to evoke affect's potential for traversing fields. Even though we have individually conducted fieldwork in

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From behind stall doors

Farming the Eastern German countryside in the animal welfare era

Amy Leigh Field

counterparts. Bright yellow rapeseed, or the basis for canola oil ( Rapsöl ), is grown on broad tracts of land during the spring, where there are very few trees and even fewer birds. Large, fuel-thirsty tractors and other machinery drive up and down fields in

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Field Notes and Reading Notes

Studying with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett in the 1990s

Nélia Dias

“Attend and document at least one Halloween event during the next two weeks. Take field notes on the event. You may also use video, audio, and photographic techniques.” 1 That was one of the requirements of Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett's class

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Ekaterina B. Tolmacheva

Field, and particularly ethnographic and anthropological, photography, began to develop in Russia in the 1870s. A particular surge of interest in visual documentation of culture can be traced back to an ethnographic exhibition held in Moscow in 1867

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Questions from the Field

Anthropological Self-reflexivity through the Eyes of Study Participants

Sangmi Lee

Although there is nothing new about how anthropologists can be the observed instead of simply being the observer and that they can also be interviewed while interviewing, no one has studied the kinds of questions they receive from the people that they study and interact with in the field. Questions that research participants ask the anthropologists during fieldwork provide a critical way to reflect upon historical and persistent issues related to field-work, such as positionality, self-reflexivity and methodology. Based on fourteen months of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork among two Hmong communities in Laos and the United States, this article examines some of the questions I received from the people in my study and suggests that anthropologists need to pay more critical attention to these questions as a source of self-reflexivity and positionality in the process of ethnographic writing.

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Practising in the Field

A Narrative of Public Health Research

Lindsay Sprague

The following is a narrative of a medical researcher and her experiences in the field. Una Lynch, a resident of Northern Ireland and currently a lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the Queen’s University Belfast, has engaged in extensive public health research using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Though historically, as anthropologists, we have valued the contributions fieldwork has offered to our understanding of culture, personality, lifestyles and behaviours, we seldom encounter fieldwork within other facets of academia. How is ethnography used, therefore, within other disciplines? What contributions has ethnography brought to knowledge outside the borders of anthropology?

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Re-locating the Ethnographic Field

From 'Being There' to 'Being There'

Máiréad Nic Craith and Emma Hill

When considering the ethnographic field, language use has been of continued anthropological concern. Traditional approaches to the field have associated language use with concepts such as place, territory and ethnicity and have tended to bound them within a single site. However, in conditions of increasing globalised mobility, approaches to both fieldwork and language use within the field are changing. Using existing scholarship on minority-language communities in Europe alongside original fieldwork with Somali migrants in Glasgow, this article considers the dynamics of that relationship within the contexts of single-sited, multi-sited and online fields. It finds that, for an inquiry focused on both language use and mobility, established modes of thinking about the field are a methodologically restrictive practice on 'being there'. Instead, the authors argue for rethinking the field as a 'spoken' one where, with language at the fore, emphasis is placed on 'being there'.

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Zuzana Hrdličková

The expression “field trip” is well understood within educational circles. Students travel away from their normal environment to observe objects of interest and the authentic experience is supposed to increase their learning and retention of