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ERIC Number: EJ841550
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Reflections on Thirty Years of Fieldwork with Indigenous People
Davis, Stephen L.
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v32 n3 p51-71 2008
The conduct of fieldwork is an adventure, a voyage into the unknown. The author has several times had the opportunity to reflect on his fieldwork, which was most often conducted among remote Indigenous groups, initially in Australia and then wider afield in Thailand, the Philippines, and Africa. He is struck by the significant amount of time, effort, and resources lost as he discovered how to conduct fieldwork efficiently. Although his experiences during that initial learning period may have been character building, it is clear that much time and expense of field support could have been saved had he been well versed in fieldwork prior to venturing into the field for an extended period. In this article, the author reviews the manner in which he undertook fieldwork over the last thirty years. His purpose in doing this is not to justify the information he obtained or the analyses he undertook but to provide an overview about how he conducted fieldwork in the hope that researchers venturing into the field for the first time might better understand and be prepared to conduct fieldwork. In undertaking this task he starts by relating his introduction to fieldwork. Fieldwork that is well planned, thoughtfully conducted, and recorded in detail will stand the test of time and provide a rich resource of reliable information to a range of disciplines and generations of researchers. (Contains 15 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Australia; Philippines; Thailand