Doing Fieldwork in China ... with Kids!: The Dynamics of Accompanied Fieldwork in the People's Republic

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edited by Candice Cornet and Tami Blumenfield

While many anthropologists and other scholars relocate with their families in some way or another during fieldwork periods, this detail is often missing from their writings even though undoubtedly children can have had a major impact on their work. Recognizing that researcher-parents have many choices regarding their children’s presence during fieldwork, this volume explores the many issues of conducting fieldwork with children, generally, and with children in China, specifically. Contributors include well-established scholars who have undertaken fieldwork in China for decades as well as more junior researchers. The book presents the voices of mothers and of fathers, with two particularly innovative pieces that are written by parent–child pairs. The collection as a whole offers a wide range of experiences that question and reflect on methodological issues related to fieldwork, including objectivity, cultural relativism, relationships in the field and positionality. The chapters also recount how accompanied fieldwork can offer unexpected ethnographic insights. An appendix alerts future fieldworking parents to particular pitfalls of accompanied fieldwork and suggests ways to avoid these.

"[A]n informative guide for anthropologists contemplating or planning to take their children to the field’ (Emily Chao, Pitzer College). '[An] excellent book which can become essential reading not only for those training to be anthropologists, but also for all research trainees who are likely to encounter cross-cultural research contexts" - Malathi Raghavan, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Candice Cornet is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is an anthropologist of China who has written before on fieldwork issues and teaches on Chinese culture and society.

Tami Blumenfield is James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at Furman University. She is an anthropologist of China and documentary film producer who has written on cultural heritage politics in the PRC and teaches on media, gender and anthropology in contemporary Asia.

Publication year: 2015
220 pp / 229mm x 152mm
richly illustrated
ISBN: 978-87-7694-170-3, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-169-7, Hardback

NIAS Press