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Fieldwork at home: Assumptions, anxieties and fear

Hasnain, Saher (2014) Fieldwork at home: Assumptions, anxieties and fear. Field Research Method Lab Blog (28 May 2014). Website.

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This contribution reflects on the experiences of a four month stint of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Islamabad, Pakistan. It is a case of ‘fieldwork at home’, with serious concerns of positionality, established assumptions, and using a qualitative methodology. Although I had read quite extensively on what to expect, believed I was prepared for the unexpected, it was a jarring experience to see things I had once been used to with a critical ‘researcher’s eye’. Factors like natural gas shortages, blisteringly cold winter days and an environment of anxiety and fear caused by instances of terrorist activities slowed my fieldwork and crept into all my encounters with the participants. Even though I was studying the effects of regional and national processes on local events and individual decision-making, the extent and quality of the effects was unsettling. My assumptions about my city, the people I was working with, and more importantly, their knowledge and assumptions about me, were a constant reminder about the fragility of my position in the field, writes Saher Hasnain.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2017 10:14
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 07:43

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