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Book part
Publication date: 21 August 2015

Sara Nuzhat Amin, Mashiat Mostafa, Md. Shahidulla Kaiser, Faheem Hussain and Varuni Ganepola

In this study we examine how doing research on gender impacts identity, sense of self, and relation to community; and how fieldwork is mediated by gender structures.

Abstract

Purpose

In this study we examine how doing research on gender impacts identity, sense of self, and relation to community; and how fieldwork is mediated by gender structures.

Methodology/approach

We draw on feminist epistemology, qualitative methodologies, and critical pedagogies to analyze the fieldwork experiences of 15 women students and nine men fieldwork partners in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.

Findings

By conducting fieldwork which challenged gender norms, students and partners gained greater awareness of themselves and confidence. Their actions challenged the appropriate place of women (and minority ethnicities) as perceived by research participants in these communities. The experience rendered the community a site of hope and learning for them, working to empower them as well as building relationships grounded in lived experiences with their communities.

Research limitation

Women’s voices are more prominent in this analysis than men’s.

Originality/value

This chapter points to the potentially empowering aspects of doing gender-related fieldwork in the developing context, as well as how gender and other power structures mediate fieldwork experiences in Muslim communities in South Asia.

Details

At the Center: Feminism, Social Science and Knowledge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-078-4

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 March 2022

Mohammad Alshallaqi

This study focuses on the practical and ethical implications of the cultural practice of wasta for organizational ethnography in the Middle East. Wasta is a form of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study focuses on the practical and ethical implications of the cultural practice of wasta for organizational ethnography in the Middle East. Wasta is a form of intercession rooted in the Middle Eastern cultural context and is similar to other cultural practices such as “guanxi” in China. Such practices do not only shape organizational lives in those contexts, but also how organizational ethnographies are designed and carried out.

Design/methodology/approach

The data in this study are derived from field notes and the author’s reflections on the fieldwork of an organizational ethnography aimed to investigate a digital transformation project.

Findings

This study draws on the lens of positionality to illustrate how wasta helps favourably reconfigure a researcher’s positionality during interactions with gatekeepers and participants, thereby facilitating access and data collection. The study also presents the ethical concerns related to reciprocity triggered by wasta. Finally, this study demonstrates how wasta functions as a situated system to ensure ethical research practices.

Originality/value

The study demonstrates that it is inevitable that organizational ethnographers engage with cultural practices such as wasta or guanxi during fieldwork in such cultural contexts. Furthermore, the study provides theoretical and methodological contributions for future researchers by engaging in a reflexive exercise to present a more nuanced and theoretically informed understanding of wasta. Moreover, it shows how it is exercised during fieldwork, the ethical concerns inherent in its exercise and how they can be mitigated. The paper concludes with practical recommendations derived from this fieldwork experience for future research.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2021

Paolo Franco and Ye (Nicole) Yang

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the methodological importance of how researchers exit fieldwork to draw attention to implications for participant and researcher…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the methodological importance of how researchers exit fieldwork to draw attention to implications for participant and researcher well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

Reflecting in detail on one researcher’s final six-months exiting fieldwork at a retirement village, this paper critically examines the unintended consequences of participant observation and researcher-participant relationships.

Findings

The paper illustrates that difficulties to exit fieldwork can be unintended consequences of participant observation activities and developing researcher-participant relationships. The findings also discuss how fieldwork exit can impose upon participant and researcher well-being.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are built upon fieldwork at a retirement village where the researcher served as a volunteer. Thus, the discussion focusses on participant observation activities that are likely to lead to close researcher-participant relationships. However, this paper aims to serve as a useful resource for researchers when considering how to exit their unique fieldwork contexts “with grace”.

Practical implications

The paper provides practical suggestions to help marketing researchers such as ethnographers, manage fieldwork exits with participant and researcher well-being concerns in mind.

Social implications

The practical suggestions provided by this paper aim to enable marketing researchers to exit fieldwork contexts “with grace” through reflection and proactive management of the social impacts of their research activities.

Originality/value

Even though researchers acknowledge fieldwork is social and personal by nature, little research attention has been paid to the management of researcher-participant relationships and the exit stage of fieldwork. This paper discusses and addresses this blind-spot in marketing research.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Dimitris Theodossopoulos and Edwar Calderon

Fieldwork in architectural conservation education is a proven practice to develop skills in documenting current conditions and start methodological engagements with a…

Abstract

Purpose

Fieldwork in architectural conservation education is a proven practice to develop skills in documenting current conditions and start methodological engagements with a site's architectural and historical values. It is a vehicle to generate intensive learning experiences in comprehensive degrees or short courses. Review of the practice within conservation education is not extensive and the purpose of this paper is to reflect on enhancing pedagogy further.

Design/methodology/approach

This reflection was triggered by a major case study, a workshop to generate UG teaching capacity for an Architecture school in Colombia. This led to mapping the fieldwork spectrum, reviewing the authors' experiences (PG courses and external workshops) and activities planned in other MSc programmes. Fieldwork is often seen as skills training, so enhancement is explored through the affiliate geography and architecture UG curricula.

Findings

The Colombia workshop provoked strong engagement among students and tutors, and their commitment to make heritage meaningful to their projects is a measure of this pedagogy's success. Fieldwork around a site's essence, beyond skills development can induce conservation students into critical enquiries by motivating them to develop personalised contexts and enhance engagement with the unexpected through inversion of linear learning processes. Setting up site exercises early on PG programmes can encourage curiosity in exploring historic environments and contextualise surveying methods.

Research limitations/implications

Student reaction to these ideas has still to be tested by designing new activities. The educational methods of this implementation need deeper analysis, beyond the paper's scope.

Originality/value

The paper maps the academic value of fieldwork in conservation education, investigating enhancement and cross-fertilisation from architecture and geography.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 December 2020

Yanru Zou

This paper provides a researcher's account of fieldwork experience in conducting audit research in China. By illustrating on-site fieldwork encounters, the paper reflects…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper provides a researcher's account of fieldwork experience in conducting audit research in China. By illustrating on-site fieldwork encounters, the paper reflects stages of access negotiation and management in the fieldwork, reveals the researcher's embodied “affects” in the fieldwork and reasserts the value of researcher's openness and attention in the fieldwork.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses autoethnography as its overall epistemology. Fieldwork diaries and vignettes are written in the first-person voice to present the researcher's embodied account of fieldwork experience, researcher’s learning and coping skills in managing the fieldwork.

Findings

The research findings are not detached from the researcher's experience of the fieldwork. The fieldwork experiences in this study highlight that the fieldwork access is an ongoing process. Different stages of access negotiations, from rejection to acceptance, reveal the tensions between researcher and participants. This study draws attention to the online platform, WeChat, in connecting with auditors to learn from them and suggests openness to the fieldwork encounters and a resilient engagement with auditors.

Originality/value

In reflecting on the researcher's transformation during the fieldwork, this paper argues for a relational and engaged way of conducting fieldwork, rather than a disengaged and judgemental approach in studying auditors' working lives. The paper pays attention to fieldwork as a process and how the knowledge learned in the field is infused with researcher's fieldwork experiences.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 May 2018

Jessica Richards

Gaining access to the research field has received much academic attention; however, the literature focusing on the changing and/or multiple roles that researchers adopt…

Abstract

Purpose

Gaining access to the research field has received much academic attention; however, the literature focusing on the changing and/or multiple roles that researchers adopt during fieldwork has at times been oversimplified. The purpose of this paper is to outline the multiple stages of the fieldwork journey, a more reflexive approach to fieldwork and the research process can be attained.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were generated from a four-year ethnographic study of the match-day experiences of the fans of Everton Football Club. In total, over 100 hours were spent doing fieldwork observations with an additional 25 semi-structured interviews forming the data set.

Findings

This paper argues that researchers should be more critical of their position in the field of their research, and should seek to identify this more clearly in their scholarship. This in turn would enable for more discussions of how each stage of the fieldwork journey affected the scope and overall findings of the research.

Originality/value

This paper provides an alternative framework for ethnographic researchers to better recognise and acknowledge reflexivity throughout the research process. This is done by outlining the various stages of fieldwork engagement more clearly to better understand how researchers change and adapt to the research environment.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2013

Courtney E. Cole

The purpose of this paper is to provide a more expansive recounting of the process of fieldwork, taking place over a number of years in diverse locations, in order to show…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a more expansive recounting of the process of fieldwork, taking place over a number of years in diverse locations, in order to show how research design develops through the process of field research, as well as to highlight the complexity of fieldwork, especially issues of access, identity, and power.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on the author's fieldwork experiences in Sierra Leone, working from and expanding upon fieldnotes from time in the field. Reflexive, autoethnographic personal narratives of fieldwork experiences are juxtaposed with theoretical writing about ethnographic observation and qualitative research.

Findings

The expansive discussion of the process of fieldwork and the development of the research project through time demonstrates and explicates the complexity and temporal dimensions of qualitative field research. Issues of access, identities, and power/privilege are also crucial aspects of the fieldwork process.

Research limitations/implications

This paper shows the importance of acknowledging and articulating the development of fieldwork and research design over time and in different places. It also discusses the complexity of fieldwork due to issues of access, identity, and power. Its claims are limited by its focus on one case, the author's fieldwork.

Social implications

This piece will help members of society better understand the process of qualitative fieldwork. Given its format and writing style, this piece can be easily read and understood by interested members of the public.

Originality/value

This paper provides narratives and commentary that provide a more complete picture of the practice of field research and the development of research design over the course of time and in diverse locations. This will be valuable to researchers, especially those preparing for field experiences for the first time or for their first time in a particular field, as well as students interested in learning about qualitative fieldwork practices.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1986

Audrey W. Hall

This brief survey looks at library school fieldwork placements and the current problems and constraints. It does not approach the subject from a theoretical viewpoint, but…

Abstract

This brief survey looks at library school fieldwork placements and the current problems and constraints. It does not approach the subject from a theoretical viewpoint, but looks at the practicalities of the situation, as they are experienced by placement tutors/liaison officers, host librarians and students. No attempt is made to review the considerable literature originating on both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere. The emphasis is on current views and all material was collected between October 1985 and February 1986. Comments on library school practices have deliberately been kept brief, as their point is not to inform academics, who are well aware of the position, but to promote understanding. All too often there is a communication gap, and many librarians, and indeed many students, may not realise the parameters within which a school is operating. Similarly tutors and students may not fully understand the constraints affecting librarians/information officers in a vast range of institutions. Tutors and librarians may lose sight of the students' needs and the heavy demands that placement can make on them.

Details

Library Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Book part
Publication date: 23 April 2013

Nick Hopwood

This chapter explores ethnographic fieldwork as embodied, material practice. It takes as its foundation the long-standing acknowledgement of the importance of…

Abstract

This chapter explores ethnographic fieldwork as embodied, material practice. It takes as its foundation the long-standing acknowledgement of the importance of ethnographers’ bodies in their work. Concepts and a range of theoretical sources are interwoven with reflections on my own fieldwork in a child and family health service in Sydney. The conceptual discussion begins with a framing of fieldwork as sociomaterial practice, following Schatzki, which highlights bodily and material dimensions of practice. These ideas are then reworked through a number of theoretical lenses, as metaphors of Möbius ribbons and grotesque bodies are used to reflect on relationships between body, mind, and materiality in ethnographic fieldwork.

Details

40th Anniversary of Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-783-2

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 21 August 2015

Jennifer B. Rogers-Brown

This chapter analyzes the critical move in feminist scholarship to gender the discourse on risk mediation in dangerous ethnographic fieldwork, particularly in social…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter analyzes the critical move in feminist scholarship to gender the discourse on risk mediation in dangerous ethnographic fieldwork, particularly in social justice research. Additionally, I draw on a reflexive analysis of my own fieldwork in Oaxaca, Mexico, to examine the intersectional impact of social location (gender, race, class, etc.) on risk management.

Methodology/approach

I synthesize key literature contributions in social science and feminist scholarship on doing dangerous fieldwork. Ethnographic data includes three months of participant observation and interviews with participants of the 2006 Oaxacan uprising.

Findings

I argue that the following themes represent axes of gendered risk mediation in social justice fieldwork: (1) the intersectional impact of social location on varied risks and the mediation of those risks, (2) impression management as an important tool for risk mediation, and (3) ethical dilemmas within risk mediation. The key dangers and risks in fieldwork include physical danger, emotional/psychological impacts, risk to research participants, ethical dangers, separation from family through international work, risk of imprisonment, and academic/professional risk.

Research limitations/implications

Analysis of personal experience in the field is limited to this one researcher’s experience; however, it mirrors key themes present in the literature. Reflexive analysis of social location on risk mediation is part of a continued call by feminist ethnographers to research practical risk mediation techniques and recognize the intersectional impacts of social location on fieldwork.

Practical implications

This chapter provides insights that instructors of ethnographic methods might use to discuss dangerous fieldsites and how to mediate risk.

Social implications

A failure to recognize risk in ethnographic research may disproportionately impact researchers most susceptible to particular risks.

Originality/value

Although feminist scholarship has long examined social location in fieldwork, analysis of risk management is limited. Additionally, this chapter adds to this scholarship by contributing key themes that unite the available research and a list of most-often discussed risks in fieldwork.

Details

At the Center: Feminism, Social Science and Knowledge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-078-4

Keywords

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