Accepted Paper:

Multi-local research of modern rurality in the Czech Republic: epistemological and methodological challenges  

Author:

Hana Horakova (Palacky University Olomouc)

Paper short abstract:

The paper investigates epistemological and methodological challenges concerning multi-local research of the Czech rural areas that have recently embarked upon the project of international tourism which uses public space and rural landscape as one of its principal attractions.

Paper long abstract:

In the past few decades, buzzwords such as flow, exchange, diversity, travel and mobility and/or cultural transmission have entered a new realm - rural space that used to be relatively immune from postmodern condition. The emergence of modern rurality has opened up interdisciplinary discussions on how to conceptualize and how to study this unbounded, multifaceted and dynamic realm. Among anthropologists, key epistemological and methodological challenges concerning the complexity of intercultural encounters in rural contexts were raised: how to do anthropology in the twenty-first century in a post-paradigmatic period; how to reinvent fieldwork that is no longer a fixed entity; how to replace field work "by immersion" with the conception of the field as an "on-and off thing" (Hannerz 2010); and, what are the implications of doing multi-sited ethnography.

I will elaborate on some of the epistemological and methodological issues by the example of interdisciplinary research (anthropology of tourism and social geography) in four Czech rural areas that have recently embarked upon the project of international tourism, which uses public space and rural landscape as one of its principal attractions. The issues will include the social construction of localitity and globality within small-scale communities; theoretical implications defining village, culture and identity as imagined, unstable and fluid concepts; defining the "hosts" and "guests"; carrying out multi-local research that presents new challenges to the ways of pursuing fieldwork.

Panel P31
Empirical research of modern rurality: towards multilocality and interdisciplinarity