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Fieldwork has often been viewed as a great black hole, untaught and unteachable. While recent years have seen an increase in the number of how-to manuals for doing fieldwork, they never fully convey the complexity of the experience–the loneliness, the uncertainty, the moral dilemmas, the ambiguities. In Experiencing Fieldwork, a group of top ethnographers addresses various issues and challenges of the fieldwork experience. How do you gain entree into a setting? What tricks are there to learning the rules of the community without alienating the people you came to study? How are good relations maintained with informants? What happens after you leave the field? Using examples of research from police departments to schools, from nursing homes to motorcycle gangs, the essays in this absorbing volume ...

The Researcher Talks Back: Dealing with Power Relations in Studies of Young People's Entry into the Job Market
The researcher talks back: Dealing with power relations in studies of young people's entry into the job market

Field research involves many different forms of intervention, from silent observation, muttered agreement, and expressions of surprise to asking direct questions and providing information about oneself or the study. An important additional aspect of any research intervention is the researcher's appearance, accent, age, sex, ethnic or cultural group, and so on. All of these elements will shape participants' reactions to the researcher and the study itself. There is no such animal as the totally detached and value-free observer. Listening to someone speak in apparently passive silence can have a major ...

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