Dealing With Illness and Dying: Introduction

  • Marcos Andrade NevesEmail author
  • Tereza Baltag
Part of the Theory and History in the Human and Social Sciences book series (THHSS)


Moments of illness and dying are fieldwork experiences that are difficult to address. Despite their increasing salience as a research focus, dealing with research interlocutors, close friends and kin who suffer chronic illness or are facing death, confronts researchers with drastic emotional difficulties. A combination of compassion and closeness constitute some of the most prominent feeling-states in studying the role of social dynamics, personal beliefs, and professional investment. At the same time these feelings also open up questions regarding the emotional consequences for researchers when they become “too close” with the people or situation that they seek to understand. Addressing illness and dying may unravel fieldwork as a site of shared existential vulnerabilities.


Illness Death Compassion Fieldwork 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Philosophy and Human SciencesFederal University of Rio Grande do Sul (PPGAS/UFRGS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Institute of Social and Cultural AnthropologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Charles University Prague, Faculty of HumanitiesPragueCzech Republic

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