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Title: Emotional work: ethnographic fieldwork in prisons in Ecuador
Authors: Fleetwood, Jennifer Swanson
First Published: 2009
Publisher: University of Glasgow
Citation: eSharp, 2009, Special Issue: Critical Issues in Researching Hidden Communities, pp. 28-50
Abstract: Prolonged periods collecting data alone and away from home are established aspects of doctoral research. Where we seek to engage with people and place, both physically and intellectually, emotional engagement frequently follows. Recently, there has been a heightened awareness of the role of emotions in research. In this paper I offer an 'anatomy' of emotions in my doctoral field research on women in the international drugs trade in prisons in Ecuador. Drawing on fieldnotes, I examine how emotional engagement with prisons and inmates affected me personally and emotionally. In particular, I will examine how conducting research in a 'hidden' community with a stigmatised population affected me. I will also consider how, as a PhD student, I brought emotional needs to the field that affected how I understood my emotions in (and in reaction to) the field that I worked. I conclude that whilst emotional engagement may be a useful (and perhaps unavoidable) aspect of ethnographic research, gaining emotional distance remains an important tool in ethnographic research.
ISSN: 1742-4542
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Publisher Version
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © The Author, 2009.
Description: The file associated with this record is embargoed while permission to archive is sought from the publisher. The final published version may be available through the links above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Criminology

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