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Felix Girke

In his poem “Leaving the Field,” published in Antipodes , anthropologist Michael Jackson (1996: 15) evokes the anticipation, unease, and conflicted positionality of the moments just before departure: Snatching at images in my last hours

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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 thefield” 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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No Sabras in the Fields?

Sabra Artists in The Cameri Theatre, 1945–1953

Leah Gilula

the Diaspora. 6 That image of the sabra was both idealized and criticized in the arts. A fine example of the double-edged representation appears in the novel Hu Halach Basadot (He walked through the fields) by a young sabra author, Moshe Shamir

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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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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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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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Ghosts in the Head and Ghost Towns in the Field

Ethnography and the Experience of Presence and Absence

Jonathan Skinner

This article is about an anthropologist coming to terms with the field and fieldwork. In 1995, I left - was evacuated from - my fieldsite as a volcanic eruption started just as my period of fieldwork drew to a close. These eruptions dramatically and instantaneously altered life on the island of Montserrat, a British colony in the Caribbean. While Montserrat the land, and Montserratians the people, migrated and moved on with their lives, Montserrat and Montserratians were preserved in my mind and in my anthropological writings as from “back home.” Revisiting Montserrat several years into the volcano crisis, I drove through the villages and roads leading to the former capital of the island, where I had worked from. My route to this modern-day Pompeii threw up a stark contrast between absence and presence, the imagined past and the experienced present. This is understood, in part, by examining the literary work of two other travelers through Montserrat, Henry Coleridge and Pete McCarthy, both of whom have a very different experience of the place and the people.

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Feelings in the Field

The Emotional Labour of the Ethnographer

Maria Concetta Lo Bosco

Despite the recent theoretical debate over the importance of addressing emotions in fieldwork, most European undergraduate programmes in anthropology still lack methodology courses that specifically focus on the emotional impact of doing research. In this article, I draw from my research with activist parents of autistic children in Portugal to explore the affective dimensions of fieldwork experience. In particular, I give an account of how I have dwelled on the emotional challenges that I faced, how these have resulted in vehicles of understanding and affected the analysis of my work as an anthropologist. While fieldwork experience always entails unexpected and surprising emotional challenges, I argue that as anthropologists we can surely benefit from more tailored support networks, safer spaces for discussion, and better pastoral care.

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Karl Frerichs, Peter Kuriloff, Celine Kagan, Joseph Nelson, Dwight Vidale, and John Thornburg

"Reinventing Leadership Training Using a Participatory Research Model" by Karl Frerichs and Peter Kurlioff

"Reading for Masculinity in the High School English Classroom" by Celine Kagan

"Helping Boys Take Flight: A Peer-Mentoring Program for Boys of color at the Riverdale Country School" by Joseph Nelson and Dwight Vidale

"A Relational Approach to Teaching Boys" by John Thornburg

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Yajun Mo

Overtaking Americans and Germans as the world’s most exuberant tourism spenders, middle-class Chinese tourists have become the most coveted demographic in the global tourism market. At the same time, robust “Golden Week” tourism data, which tracks domestic tourism during the two-week national holidays in mainland China, has indicated a surge in travel within China. Viewed as a revealing lens through which one could observe Chinese modernity, travel and tourism-related activities have attracted considerable attention from scholars interested in China.1 However, marked as a “contemporary” phenomenon, tourism and travel in China seem to have remained largely outside historians’ purview. In response to calls from mobility scholars for a historical understanding of the movement of peoples, goods, and ideas since the late twentieth century, China historians have begun to examine the practice of travel and tourism, especially from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. At the same time, infl uenced by colonial discourse analysis and postcolonial theory, literary scholars have renewed their interests in Chinese travel accounts, both textual and visual, making connections between travelers’ representations and the imaginations of empire and nation-state over the past few centuries.