P301
Where is the field?

Convenors:
Laura Hirvi (The Finnish Institute in Germany)
Hanna Snellman (University of Helsinki)
Location:
Block 2, Piso 1, Room 96
Start time:
20 April, 2011 at 11:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel scrutinizes the method of fieldwork as used in the study of life worlds. In their presentations, researchers examine how people make the places they inhabit, while critically reflecting on the challenges, obstacles and opportunities they faced during fieldwork.

Long abstract:

Ethnologists seek to achieve a better understanding of the human experience through the exploration of different life worlds. How are these life worlds created, and how do they interact with the localities surrounding them? In order to address such questions, ethnologists use the method of ethnographic fieldwork. But how do researchers find, define, access or exit the field when examining life worlds embedded in places that are transnational, virtual or spread-out in character? It is our contention that reflecting on this question is of uttermost importance for enhancing the method of ethnographic fieldwork. Therefore, this panel focuses on scrutinizing the methods of ethnographic fieldwork as used in the study of various life worlds. We invite researchers to submit papers that examine the manner in which people make the places they inhabit, while critically reflecting on the researcher's ethnographic fieldwork experience. Papers offering original fieldwork approaches and dealing with ethical concerns related to the practice of fieldwork are especially welcomed. By pointing out how researchers respond to challenges, obstacles and opportunities faced during fieldwork, we hope to collect innovative approaches that can be used for an elaboration of this method that is so essential for ethnology. Due to its focus on methodological questions, this panel fits all three sub-themes of this conference.