Core Practice 4 — Confidence: Taking on the Researcher’s Mantel

This Exploration is designed to increase your self-confidence before starting your data collection, before ‘entering the field’. Sometimes it takes a while before we feel confident enough to step into the role of researcher. Are we entitled to ask questions? Are our (self-generated) research questions important enough to impose on people’s time? Won’t our presence interfere in what is happening? Will we ask the ‘right’ questions to the ‘right’ people? Will we come back with sufficiently interesting and useful data? Will our research be of sufficiently original value? These insecurities often last several months into our fieldwork or data collection, if not longer. This Exploration helps you to feel more confident and get into the rhythm of your research faster.


Further Reading

Behar, R. (1996) The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology that Breaks your Heart.Boston: Beacon Press.

Cameron, O. G. (2001) ‘Interoception: The Inside Story—A Model for Psychosomatic Processes’, Psychosomatic Medicine,63(5), pp. 697-710.

Czikszentmihalyi, M. (1975) Beyond boredom and anxiety. Experiencing Flow in Work and Play.San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Damasio, A. (1999) The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness.San Diego/New York: Harcourt, Inc.

Ensler, E. (2010) I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World.New York: Villard.

Fitzpatrick, E. and Fitzpatrick, K. (2015) ‘Disturbing the Divide: Poetry as Improvisation to Disorder Power Relationships in Research Supervision’, Qualitative Inquiry,21(1), pp. 50-58.

Garfinkel, S. N., Seth, A. K., Barrett, A. B., Suzuki, K. and Critchley, H. D. (2015) ‘Knowing your own heart: Distinguishing interoceptive accuracy from interoceptive awareness’, Biological Psychology,104(Supplement C), pp. 65-74.

Goleman, D. (1995) Emotional Intelligence. Why it can matter more than IQ.New York: Bantam Books.

Grau, A. (1999) ‘Fieldwork, Politics and Power’, in Buckland, T.J. (ed.) Dance in the field. Theory, Methods and Issues in Dance Ethnography. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 163-174.

Hunt, J. C. (1989) Psychoanalytic Aspects of Fieldwork. Qualitative Research MethodsLondon: Sage Publications.

Jansen, P. L. (2004) EQnomy; The Emotional Intelligent Society. A study of principles of the emotional intelligent society.PhD, Trinity University, Chicago, Illinois [Online] Available at: 19.05.2011).

Okely, J. (2007) ‘Fieldwork embodied’, The Sociological Review,55, Supplement 1(May 2007), pp. 65-79.

Rapport, N. J. (2015) ‘Anthropology through Levinas: Knowing the Uniquness of Ego and the Mystery of Otherness’, Current Anthropology,56(2), pp. 256-276.

Stanley, P. (2014) ‘Writing the PhD Journey(s): An Autoethnography of Zine-Writing, Angst, Embodiment, and Backpacker Travels’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.

Tankink, M. (2007) ‘My mind as transitional space. Intersubjectivity in the process of analyzing emotionally disturbing data’, Medische Antropologie,19(1), pp. 135-145.

Wiens, S. (2005) ‘Interoception in emotional experience’, Current Opinion in Neurology,18(4), pp. 442-7.