Research Realities in the Social Sciences: Negotiating Fieldwork Dilemmas

by Gregory S. Szarycz


This book sets up the prospect of learning about one of social science’s most important and conventional methods—fieldwork—by presenting readers with case examples of its occasional failures and frustrations. What distinguishes this anthology from most other texts on the market is that the collection delivered here is much more acutely oriented to the problems of conducting fieldwork––a considerable contrast to the squeaky-clean depictions and step-by-step formats of fieldwork in standard undergraduate methods texts such as Babbie’s The Practice of Social Research and occasional, though comparatively still rare, reflexive treatises in methodological research journals.

The collection of essays is extensive and diverse, representing the fields of anthropology, political science, historical archaeology, criminology, social psychology, and sociology. Topics range from how researchers manage the ever-tightening institutional constraints of universities' institutional review boards to reflections on the challenges of conducting fieldwork in dangerous settings or in societies undergoing political transformation. In reflecting on their personal experiences, authors provide practical guidance on how to overcome the types of problems that occasionally confront academic researchers in their work.

In sum, this book will likely engage both undergraduate and graduate students in sociology and in other disciplines, for whom fieldwork is a centrally-important method, by providing the kind of immediacy to a variety of research situations that is not readily available in other standard textbooks.

This book will be a valuable resource for all collections in the social sciences.


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