NAVIGATING UNPREDICTABLE SITES: Methodological Implications of Positioning during and after Fieldwork in Conflict Societies

Gerharz, Eva
September 2017
Social Analysis;Autumn2017, Vol. 61 Issue 3, p1
Academic Journal
This article discusses the relationship between the researcher and a field affected by armed conflict. Based on ethnographic research in Sri Lanka during the ceasefire of 2002, it investigates how deep polarization that emerges in the course of a violent conflict determines the researcher's scope for positioning vis-à-vis the different groups. The article argues that the unpredictibility of the research site necessitates careful navigation of the self and requires thorough reflection on the consequences of particular moves at the point of decision making. In order to maintain relationships with different sides, there is a need to deal carefully with sensitive issues, both during and after fieldwork. This article pleas for a balance between pragmatism and ethics.


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