Constructing the Field
Ethnographic Fieldwork in the Contemporary World
Edited by Vered Amit
Routledge – 1999 – 208 pages
Ethnographic fieldwork is traditionally seen as what distinguishes social and cultural anthropology from the other social sciences. This collection responds to the inte nsifying scrutiny of fieldwork in recent years. It challenges the idea of the necessity for the total immersion of the ethnographer in the field, and for the clear separation of professional and personal areas of activity. The very existence of 'the field' as an entity separate from everyday life is questioned.
Fresh perspectives on contemporary fieldwork are provided by diverse case-studies from across North America and Europe. These contributions give a thorough appraisal of what fieldwork is and should be, and an extra dimension is added through fascinating accounts of the personal experiences of anthropologists in the field.