Advertisement

Introduction: Conducting Fieldwork in Africa

  • Lyn Johnstone
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter discusses the purpose of the book, which is to focus on the process and challenges of conducting research in Africa. The chapter argues that as more and more doctoral researchers, beyond the discipline of anthropology, choose to carry out fieldwork on the African continent, the rise in publications on the findings of such research has far surpassed the rather slender body of literature that focuses on the research process itself. The chapter highlights the ways in which the current volume offers assistance to researchers approaching the field for the first time. The chapter concludes with an overview of the nine chapters included in the book.

Keywords

Africa Positionality Access Fieldwork Research Challenges 

References

  1. Agar, M. (2006). An Ethnography by Any Other Name. Forum: Qualitative Social Research Socialforschung, 7(4). http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/177. Accessed December 15, 2017.
  2. Banks, J. (1998). The Lives and Values of Researchers: Implications for Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Society. Educational Researcher, 27(7), 4–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cargo, M., & Mercer, S. (2008). The Value and Challenges of Participatory Research: Strengthening Its Practice. Annual Review of Public Health, 29, 325–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cotterill, P. (1992). Interviewing Women: Issues of Friendship, Vulnerability and Power. Women’s Studies International Forum, 15, 593–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dwyer, S., & Buckle, J. L. (2009). The Space Between: On Being an Insider-Outsider in Qualitative Research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 8(1), 54–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. England, K. (1994). Getting Personal: Refexivity, Positionality, and Feminist Research. Professional Geographer, 46(1), 80–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Glucksmann, M. (1994). The Work of Knowledge and the Knowledge of Women’s Work. In M. Maynard & J. Purvis (Eds.), Researching Women’s Lives From a Feminist Perspective (pp. 149–165). London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  9. Harrowell, E., Davies, T., & Disney, T. (2018). Making Space for Failure in Geographic Research. The Professional Geographer, 70(2), 230–238.Google Scholar
  10. Jackson, M. (2010). From Anxiety to Method in Anthropological Fieldwork: An Appraisal of George Devereux’s Enduring Ideas. In J. Davies & D. Spencer (Eds.), Emotions in the Field: The Psychology and Anthropology of Fieldwork Experience (pp. 35–45). Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Jones, P. J., & Evans, J. (2011). Creativity and Project Management: A Comic. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 10(3), 585–632.Google Scholar
  12. Kay, R., & Oldfield, J. (2011). Emotional Engagements With the Field: A View from Area Studies. Europe-Asia Studies, 63(7), 1275–1293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Madge, C. (1993). Boundary Disputes: Comments on Sidaway (1992). Area, 25, 294–299.Google Scholar
  14. Mandiyanike, D. (2009). The Dilemma of Conducting Research Back in Your Own Country as a Returning Student: Reflections of Research Fieldwork in Zimbabwe. Area, 41, 64–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McDowell, L. (1992). Doing Gender: Feminism, Feminists and Research Methods in Human Geography. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers, 17, 399–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Merriam, S. B., Johnson-Bailey, J., Lee, M.-Y., Kee, Y., Ntseane, G., & Muhamad, M. (2001). Power and Positionality: Negotiating Insider/Outsider Status Within and Across Cultures. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 20(5), 405–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Merton, R. (1972). Insiders and Outsiders: A Chapter in the Sociology of Knowledge. American Journal of Sociology, 78(1), 9–47.Google Scholar
  18. Meyer, S. (2007). From Horror Story to Manageable Risk: Formulating Safety Strategies for Peace Researchers. Thesis for Master Degree Programme in Peace and Conflict Transformation, Centre for Peace Studies, Faculty of Social Science, University of Tromsø, Norway.Google Scholar
  19. Nilan, P. (2002). ‘Dangerous Fieldwork’ Re-examined: The Question of Researcher Subject Position. Qualitative Research, 2(3), 363–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pike, K. (1967). Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structures of Human Behavior (2nd ed.). The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  21. Rancatore, J. (2010). It Is Strange. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 39(1), 65–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rose, G. (1997). Situating Knowledges: Positionality, Reflexivities and Other Tactics. Progress in Human Geography, 21(3), 305–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Serrant-Green, L. (2002). Black on Black: Methodological Issues for Black Researchers Working in Minority Ethnic Communities. Nurse Researcher, 9(4), 30–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shore, C. (2010). Beyond the Multiversity: Neoliberalism and the Rise of the Schizophrenic University. Social Anthropology, 18(1), 15–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Thomson, S., Ansoms, A., & Murison, J. (2013). Introduction: Why Stories Behind the Findings? In S. Thomson, A. Ansoms, & J. Murison (Eds.), Emotional and Ethical Challenges for Field Research in Africa: The Story Behind the Findings (pp. 1–11). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lyn Johnstone
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Holloway, University of LondonEghamUK

Personalised recommendations