Accepted Paper:

A crisis in fieldwork: personal, ethical & methodological reflections  
Julie Hastings (Brunel University London)

Paper short abstract:

not to be completed

Paper long abstract:

In 2008, whilst monitoring a schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) control programme in Tanzania as part of my doctoral research I was accused of poisoning children by village residents forcing me to leave my study site in somewhat alarming circumstances. This led to a tangible crisis in my fieldwork. Despite relocating to a new research site I doubted it was possible to be viewed as an impartial observer. I was concerned about those who had assisted me previously and still resided in the village. I questioned my methodology and, in so doing, the validity of my data. The programme was postponed; my research funding was gone.

This paper reflects on methodological and ethical issues arising from my own fieldwork experiences and asks whether impartiality can really be attained, especially for those of us engaged in applied research.

Panel W026
Applied anthropology, crisis and innovation in health and medicine