Fieldnotes in Qualitative Education and Social Science Research


 Presenter (s) Casey Burkholder, University of New Brunswick; Jennifer Thompson, Université de Montreal

Building upon the incorporation of fieldnotes into anthropological research, this edited collection explores fieldnote practices from within education and the social sciences. Framed by social justice concerns about power in knowledge production, this insightful collection explores methodological questions about the production, use, sharing, and dissemination of fieldnotes. Particular attention is given to the role of context and author positionality in shaping fieldnotes practices. Why do researchers take fieldnotes? What do their fieldnotes look like? What ethical concerns do different types of fieldnotes practices provoke? By drawing on case studies from numerous international contexts, including Argentina, Cameroon, Canada, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the US, the text provides comprehensive and nuanced answers to these questions. This text will be of interest to academics and scholars conducting research across the social sciences, and in particular, in the fields of anthropology and education.

Table of Contents

What about Fieldnotes: An introduction (by: Jennifer Thompson and Casey Burkholder)

Part I: Producing fieldnotes

Writing in my little red book: The process of taking fieldnotes in primary school case study research in Kirinyaga, Kenya ( by: Catherine Vanner)

Fieldnotes as a square dance: What can be learned through a metaphor (by: Wendy Crocker and Lori McKee)

Fieldnotes in marginal landscapes: Toward an Anthropocene ethic of care for small things (by: Jennifer MacLatchy)

Fieldnotes as an imbricated space of observation, interpretation, analysis, and reflexivity (by: Soon Young Jang)

Reflexive uncertainty: Fieldnotes and emotion in participatory visual research (by: Jennifer Thompson)

Part II: Using fieldnotes

When fieldnotes don’t work as expected: The challenges of team research with war-affected populations (by: Bree Akesson and Kearney Coupland)

“I Pray you catch me listening”: Activating fieldnotes for building cultural health capital (by: LaShaune Johnson)

Performing fieldtexts (by: Mary Ott)

The poetry of fieldnotes (by: Adam Vincent)

The editing and rewriting of fieldnotes in ethnographic research (by: Cecilia Vindrola-Padros)

Part III: Sharing fieldnotes

Fieldnotes as private, public, and rhetorical achievement (by: Dmitri Detwyler)

Co-production, friendship, and transparency in Anthropological fieldnotes (by: Janneke Verheijen and Sjaak van der Geest)

Bumbling along together: Producing collaborative fieldnotes (by: Andrea Wojcik, Rachel Allison, and Anna Harris)

Vlogging as sense-making: Fostering diffractive practitioners (by: Julie Rust and Sarah Altman)

Analyzing a public digital archive of comic-style fieldnotes (by: Casey Burkholder)
Part IV: Reflecting on fieldnotes practice

Fieldnotes and lived experience of housing precarity: Co-creating transparent research practices for social change (by: Jayne Malenfant)

Reconceptualising fieldnotes: The materiality of making knowledge for an embodied, dialogical, creative understanding of self-other (by: Daisy Pillay, Simita Sharan and Jacquie Hendrikse)

Queering fieldnote practice with queer, trans, and non-binary populations (by: Amelia Thorpe)

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