L004


The new ethnographer: addressing contemporary challenges in fieldwork 
Convenors:
Caitlin Procter (European University Institute )
Anya Evans (London School of Economics)
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Format:
Labs
Location:
SO-F315
Sessions:
Thursday 16 August, 9:00-10:45, 11:15-13:00 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

This lab will host two sessions on challenges in fieldwork under the themes of ethical digital practices; gender; safety; and mental health and well-being. Participants are invited to discuss their own fieldwork experiences and propose ideas for the development of new codes of practice.

Long Abstract

Researchers' attempts to discuss challenging fieldwork experiences are often dismissed as being the result of bad or unethical practice, despite evidence of the ubiquity of fieldwork challenges in Anthropology (Pollard 2009). Building on debates surrounding the affective dimensions of fieldwork, and the integration of these experiences into our scholarship (Stodulka, Dinkelaker and Thajib: forthcoming 2018), this lab offers an applied perspective.

This lab will host two sessions on challenges in fieldwork. Participants are invited to discuss (to the extent that they are able) their fieldwork experiences and propose ideas for the development of new codes of practice. Each session will be drawn up into a document outlining suggestions for revised codes of practice to be shared with participants, and disseminated through professional associations and universities.

Session one (10.30 - 12.15)

- Fieldwork Under Fire (revisited)

Navigating researcher safety, and the safety of research participants; the development of stronger safety protocols without limiting academic freedom.

- Mental health and well-being in Fieldwork

The hidden risks of fieldwork including depression, anxiety, isolation and vicarious trauma.

Session two (13.15 - 15.30)

- Fieldwork and Gender: Implications for Universities

Gender in the (competitive) selection of research topics and sites; in pre-field training; in method selection and in the broader fieldwork experience.

- Ethical practices online during and after fieldwork

Researcher privacy; non-replication of a surveillance dynamic among populations already exposed to extreme surveillance; the use of multiple accounts; and privacy issues regarding location-based apps.