Call for Contributions to an LSE blog on Field Research Method

In November 2013, I launched an LSE blog focusing on field research method. Since then, it has been publishing regular posts on how researchers have addressed various constraints that faced them while in the field. The first set of posts was based on contributions to a two-day workshop that I organised last June 2013, and the blog is now open to contributions on a rolling basis, with no restrictions on regions of coverage. Below is the most recent call for contributions to the blog. 


The Field Research Method Lab (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/fieldresearch) welcomes new contributions from both established and early career researchers to share their hands-on fieldwork experiences.

The blog has already featured a number of exciting experiences that cover field research in China, Zambia, Malaysia and the US associated with topics such as forced eviction and domicidefieldwork under surveillancegendered experience of migrant workersurban redevelopment and neighbourhood changes, migrants from Taiwan and Malaysia, musical practices of ethnic minorities in urban and ruralChina, and many more. Forthcoming essays to appear include discussions on, for example, interviewing business elites in China, action research in China’s urban displacement, and ethics in researching urban crisis in Greece. The field research sites covered in contributed essays are also mapped on this link: http://goo.gl/ECh1q7

Contributors are welcome to produce a new piece built around, but not limited to, the themes below or to respond to any existing published essays on the blog:

  • Practicalities associated with field research: field access; collaboration with local partners; language barriers, including dependence on translators
  • Constraints on data collection: sampling; access to government sources; credibility and contamination of field data
  • Relationship between the researcher and the researched: researcher’s positionality; power relations; insider-outsider dichotomy; boundary crossing
  • Constraints on international collaboration
  • Cultural encounters
  • Government censorship and data access
  • Research ethics

If interested in contributing to the blog, please contact the editor (Dr Hyun Bang Shin; e-mail: h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk) with your ideas including (1) a detailed abstract (about 200 words), (2) a brief biography and (3) a short summary of research project. The total length of each contribution is expected to be around 1,500-2,000 words. Being a blog, the acceptance of contributed essays is going to be on a rolling basis, but potential contributors are encouraged to make the initial contact with the editor as soon as possible.

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CFP: Field Research Method Lab – Addressing Field Research Constraints in China

(Please kindly note that a new LSE blog is launched based on the outcomes of the workshop: Field Research Method Lab at http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/fieldresearch)

Field Research Method Lab:
Addressing Field Research Constraints in China 

Hosted by the Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science

Funded by the LSE Teaching and Learning Centre 

Dates: 6-7 June 2013

Venues: 6 June in Graham Wallace Room, Old Building and 7 June in Room OLD.3.21 (For maps and directions, please visit http://www2.lse.ac.uk/mapsAndDirections/Home.aspx)

It is with pleasure to announce CFP for a workshop on ‘Addressing Field Research Constraints in China’, to be held at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The field research method workshop aims at bringing together both established and early career researchers working on China and sharing their hands-on experiences of addressing various constraints that they have encountered in the course of their fieldwork. It will be an opportunity to hold scholarly debates on what tends to remain in individual researcher’s private domain or between lines without getting a chance to be disseminated. How the field research constraints are addressed however often determines the quality of research outcomes.

Presenters are encouraged to reflect upon their past/present field research projects, and draw some lessons, both practical and academic, which can be shared with the audience. Below is a list of potential topics but you are very much welcome to suggest any that is related to conducting field research in China:

(1)    Practicalities associated with field research (e.g. issues of field access, collaboration with local partners, language barriers including dependence on translators);

(2)    Constraints on data collection (sampling, access to government sources, credibility and contamination of field data, etc.);

(3)    Relationship between the researcher and the researched (researcher’s positionality, power relations, insider-outsider dichotomy, boundary crossing, etc.);

(4)    Constraints on international collaboration;

(5)    Cultural encounters;

(6)    Government censorship and data access;

(7)    Research ethics

Each presenter is to contribute a short paper (about 2,000 words). Contributed papers are initially to be published on LSE Blogs. A collective publication in the format of an edited volume may also to be explored on the basis of these contributions. The workshop by nature is going to be very much interdisciplinary, with confirmed contributors coming from Anthropology, Gender Institute, Social Policy and Geography and Environment.

Participants wishing to present their thoughts are invited to submit a 150-word (max.) abstract and a short biography to Dr Hyun Shin (h.b.shin@lse.ac.uk) by 4th April 2013. 

If you are interested in attending only, please also e-mail Dr Hyun Shin to reserve a place. No registration fees required but places are limited.

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