Emotion Work in Ethnography

  • Ginny Mounce


The tensions and emotion work inherent in longitudinal ethnographic work are discussed in this chapter, using empirical evidence from the author's  Ph.D. The sustained involvement with research participants, characteristic of this approach, is not only advantageous in terms of data collection and insider viewpoint, but also challenging because of the extended duration of the research relationship. The study's themes, concerning the experiences of infertile couples starting fertility treatments, are of a highly emotional and intimate nature raising questions of privacy and threatening negative feelings in both researcher and participants. These issues, and that of reactivity, are discussed in terms of researcher experiences in the field, and she examines how reflexivity contributes to methodological and practical effect in this setting. The author suggests strategies for researchers working with similarly emotional topics.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ginny Mounce
    • 1
  1. 1.Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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