Extended Practice — Dealing with challenging research situations

By Lene Faust and Simone Pfeifer

In this Exploration you engage with challenging research situations and how to incorporate them fruitfully in your ethnography and analysis. You will be given space to attend to potential irritations, reluctances or fears when encountering people, opinions or ways of life that you might not (necessarily) like, or might even detest. You will be guided through a number of questions that relate to difficult research situations. We will ask you to relate to your bodily and affective responses to particular challenging persons or events in difficult research situations. Finally, we will focus on how these situations can be fruitfully engaged with during the writing process as a part of the data analysis.

Be aware that this is not a therapeutic approach. Please take care of your emotional safety. In case anything comes up you find hard to deal with personally, please consult professional help.

Prepare to write something down on a piece of paper. Please also select an object, fieldnote excerpt, posting, image that relates to the moment or person of irritation in your research you want to work with.



Further Reading

Devereux, Georges. 1976. „From Anxiety to Method in the Behavioral Sciences.“ Editions Mouton & Co. and Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes.


Image credits

Glove: Ulf Neumann
Ocean: Lene Faust