(Mis)adventures in Field Research
In the last issue of ambidextrous, there is a 2-pages paper by Genevieve Bell and Brian David Johnson entitled Picking Up Insights... and Bugs: (Mis)adventures in Field Research, which is bascially a description of how ethnographers bring back more from the field than "informations". The article gives some highlights.
"Our medical records give a very different picture of those cultural encounters. Food poisoning, allergies, tropical ulcers, dysentery, colds, eye infections, a brush with the plague — you name it, we’ve had it. Seeking local cures for some of them, we’ve picked up boiled Coca-Cola with shaved ginger, and Hainan chicken rice (good for the soul?) along the way. (...) The very depth of field research that gives us insight also exposes us to messy, unexpected surprises. But dealing with that messiness — getting injured, taking care of ourselves, and finding help in an unfamiliar place — deepens our understanding of our surroundings."
Why do I blog this sometimes it's good to see the "behind the curtain" view of research methods :)