Category Archives: Boundary Crossing

May 28 2014

Fieldwork at Home: Assumptions, Anxieties and Fear

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This contribution reflects on the experiences of a four month stint of ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Islamabad, Pakistan. It is a case of ‘fieldwork at home’, with serious concerns of positionality, established assumptions, and using a qualitative methodology. Although I … Continue reading

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Apr 4 2014

The vulnerable observer: Fear, sufferings and boundary crossing

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In this contribution, Yunpeng Zhang responds to an earlier post by Qin Shao (see Building Trust and Boundary: Fieldwork in Shanghai) to provoke discussions on the dilemma and ethics of observing, witnessing and writing about vulnerable people. Challenging the ‘boundary’ setting efforts in … Continue reading

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Feb 24 2014

Utilising participation in musical ethnographic fieldwork in rural China

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This discussion focuses on the issue of participation in relation to fieldwork in China. Drawing upon more than 24 months of musical ethnographic fieldwork in rural Kam (in Chinese, Dong 侗) minority areas of southwestern China since 2004, I describe … Continue reading

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Nov 27 2013

Working while being followed: Reflections on fieldwork constraints in a Beijing public park

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While some scholars recommend to follow official channels when conducting social science research in contemporary China, it is also acknowledged that research permissions are not always necessary in a number of cases. However, as the boundary between sensitive (mingan) and … Continue reading

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Nov 21 2013

Building Trust and Boundaries: Fieldwork in Shanghai

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While I was studying residents-turned-protesters against eviction in Shanghai, calculated risks and extra precautions were inevitable to carry out the research and protect my sources and myself. The nature of the project also complicated my relationship with the residents, and it … Continue reading

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