Fieldwork in Practice
This course will provide a comprehensive overview of some key issues in methods design, conducting fieldwork, including collecting and managing data in the field, and on return. It takes an integrated approach to discussing these issues from the perspectives of safety, ethical, methodological, and practical considerations for qualitative as well as quantitative methodologies. The course is designed to provide a supportive and inclusive space for students and young researchers to share questions and concerns about their fieldwork and data collection, as well as to discuss practical strategies for navigating them in the field. Given that fieldwork preparation, implementation, and ‘the return’ come with their own sets of potential challenges and dilemmas, the course is divided into three parts to allow each of these stages to be addressed in a constructive, thorough, and participatory manner. The topics to be covered within each session include:
1. Fieldwork Preparation (10th May)
Designing your research questions and methodology; choosing a field site and location; selecting research participants; assessing logistics (research permits, visas, ethics approval in Oxford and abroad); housing, bringing partners/families; thinking about and facilitating ‘access’; language barriers and preparation; thinking about the emotional and psychological dimensions of fieldwork; practical and preparatory considerations for your research and life outside the data collection while you’re away.
2. In the Field (17th May)
Designing and implementing research tools; recording, storing, and managing data; working with research assistants, translators, etc.; ethics and trust in the field; negotiating access; building and managing relationships during and after fieldwork; identifying and managing the emotional and psychological dimensions of fieldwork; practical considerations (safety in your day-to-day; research sites and locations; etc.); supervisors and support networks in the field.
3. Returning from the Field (24th May)
• Making sense of it all; data management and analysis; reintegrating and manging emotional dimensions of returning from fieldwork; managing data collection from abroad; maintaining relationships and networks in the field; supervisors and writing up.
***ATTENDING THE PREPARATION FOR SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FIELDWORK (OR EQUIVALENT SAFETY COURSE) IS A PRE-REQUISITE FOR ATTENDING THIS COURSE***
Social Sciences Divisional Office
75 George Street
Oxford OX1 2BQ