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Meissner, Fran; Hasselberg, Inês
Forever malleable: the field as a reflexive encounter Book Chapter
In: Hirvi, Laura; Snellman, Hanna (Ed.): Where is the field?: The experience of migration viewed through the prism of ethnographic fieldwork, pp. 87-106, Finnish Literature Society, 2012.
In recent social science debates on the practice of fieldwork, one overarching concern has been that complex social phenomena, in an interconnected world, need to be studied with research methods that can generate data which make this complexity more accessible to academic debate. Of concern in this paper are the assumptions and expectations of ‘the field’ in research with migrants, or more precisely with people who have moved. These are
connected to issues of professional and disciplinary authority, of distancing and otherness, and of course to the development of a workable field site. As has repeatedly been established, the field is no longer easily found, and we reflect on this from the perspective of two quite distinct research projects focused on the one hand on experiences of deportablity and on the other hand on the social networks of migrants from small groups in cities of evident migration-driven diversity.