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The Anxieties of a Changing Sense of Place: A Reflection on Field Encounters at Home

  • Paul J. Kellner
Chapter
Part of the Theory and History in the Human and Social Sciences book series (THHSS)

Abstract

This chapter reflects on a first-time ethnographer’s experience during fieldwork through the lenses of emotion and affect. Elaborating on an already well-established sense of place can emotionally disruptive and engender affects that permeate one’s fieldwork. Specifically, I draw on Raymond Michalowski’s notion of the anxiety of surveillance during fieldwork to systematically consider how and why unanticipated anxieties about safety at home may have reshaped or impeded the interpretive process between my interlocutors and me. This consideration finds that a first-time ethnographer can benefit from additional preparations towards emotionally and affectively reflexive fieldwork practices. In making this finding, the chapter provides support for the growing literature that argues that emotions can broaden and deepen an ethnographer’s insight into his interlocutor’s lives. Finally, it will posit a few practical ways to prepare for and implement increasingly “relational and affectively-aware” ethnography, in order to help diversify the toolkit of other first-time ethnographers.

Keywords

Sense of place Reflexivity Ethnography Indonesia Home 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul J. Kellner
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of International DevelopmentUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Department of Health Promotion and DevelopmentUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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