Conducting Fieldwork (conducting + fieldwork)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Conducting fieldwork with Tarieng communities in southern Laos: Negotiating discursive spaces between neoliberal dogmas and Lao socialist ideology

Steeve Daviau
Abstract Based on research with ethnic minorities in Laos aimed at understanding how they cope with and negotiate political and economic ,double domination', this article examines the experiences of prolonged fieldwork in a remote Tarieng area in the Annam Range, southern Laos. After briefly reviewing Lao ethnographical policy and practice regarding ethnic minorities, I introduce the Tarieng people. I detail how I initially gained access to these local communities via long-term engagement with a range of development project initiatives. Then, after eight years of conducting such fieldwork in a Tarieng area ,below the radar of the state', I managed to obtain official authorisations to continue research as a graduate student. In this new position, I accessed the field via different negotiations with central, provincial and local official bureaucracies. After detailing this process, back in the field I reveal my strategies to create a discursive space that has allowed me to access dissident Tarieng voices and agency. Finally, I highlight four central elements that have continued to shape my field research: language proficiency, working with research assistants, awareness of political relations and cultural sensitivity, and ethical concerns. These have emerged while the possibilities and constraints of political engagement with the Tarieng people are explored. [source]

"Between Mamas": The Anthropology of a Dispute, or,The Perils of Having Sons in the Field

Bilinda StraightArticle first published online: 28 JUN 200
This article both narrates and analyzes a conflict that my son and I were the center of in 1994 while I was conducting fieldwork with Samburu pastoralists in Northern Kenya. I draw upon a classic anthropological literature on conflict, most notably Gulliver's notion of "prehistory" to enframe a discussion of the participants' motivations, including my own. In discussing the moot held to settle the conflict and its dramatic consequences, I address the issues of inside/outside status and the role of our interlocutors in constructing our ethnographic personae in a mutually transforming process. [source]

The dilemma of conducting research back in your own country as a returning student , reflections of research fieldwork in Zimbabwe

AREA, Issue 1 2009
David Mandiyanike
The research process is more like finding one's way through a complex maze. ,Home is where the heart is', but foreign students face a number of problems upon their return home to do research. This paper chronicles the dilemma of a Zimbabwean student conducting fieldwork for his UK-based doctoral studies in his own country. The dilemmas were critical in that the fieldwork was undertaken during the ,Zimbabwe crisis' and the inherent problems of researching government-related organisations. This has a bearing on any research process and invokes use of the etic/emic dilemma. This paper contributes to the gaps and growing literature on methods and techniques for conducting qualitative research in human geography. [source]

Challenges and dilemmas: fieldwork with upland minorities in socialist Vietnam, Laos and southwest China

Sarah TurnerArticle first published online: 28 JUL 2010
Abstract The Chinese, Vietnamese and Lao spaces within the upland Southeast Asian massif, sheltering over 80 million people belonging to geographically dispersed and politically fragmented minority populations, have only recently reopened to overseas academic endeavours. Undertaking social sciences research there among ethnic minority groups is underscored by a specific set of challenges, dilemmas, and negotiations. This special issue brings together Western academics and post-fieldwork doctoral students from the realms of social anthropology and human geography, who have conducted in-depth fieldwork among ethnic minorities in upland southwest China, northern Vietnam, and southern Laos. The articles provide insights into the struggles and constraints they faced in the field, set against an understanding of the historical context of field research in these locales. In this unique context that nowadays interweaves economic liberalisation with centralised and authoritarian political structures, the authors explore how they have negotiated and manoeuvred access to ethnic minority voices in complex cultural configurations. The ethical challenges raised and methodological reflections offered will be insightful for others conducting fieldwork in the socialist margins of the Southeast Asian massif and beyond. This specific context is introduced here, followed by a critique of the literature on the core themes that contributors raise. [source]