Blogs 2009

Boris Nieswand, November 2009

It took more than seven months until I got field access as an ethnographer to the Jugendamt (youth department) of a large German city (cf. January Research_Blog). Surprisingly as soon as I entered the interior of the organisation the diffuse aloofness turned into a remarkable openness and sympathy for my research project. ...

Gabriele Alex, August 2009

Travelling to India evokes generally two kinds of reactions – the first one goes like – wow, that is so cool, and the second one is – but hey, what about the illnesses that you might catch there. India has a long history of being seen as the disease laden and deadly landscape, hosting maladies like cholera, malaria, the plague, to name just a few, and in this light it is not ...

Monika Palmberger, May 2009

The title “research blog” may raise high expectations of juicy stories full of adventures in exciting places. Apologies, therefore, for reminding you once again (see the January and April blogs) that research (even of the kind conducted by anthropologists!) involves pretty unexciting phases. After three years in the field (Bosnia and Herzegovina) ...

Susanne Wessendorf, March 2009

I’m sitting in a street café in a London neighbourhood where I’m currently doing fieldwork on ‘super-diversity’. While enjoying my daily dose of caffeine, I’m wondering how I could get an insight into the lives of the many people walking past. While a few privileged ones have time to stop and drink a cup of tea or coffee by the side of the road, ...

Boris Nieswand, January 2009

“This is a completely different Ghana, isn’t it?” said one of the first ‘real persons’ I encountered after months of writing emails and letters and doing phone calls in order to get field access to a public administration. His comment referred to differences and similarities between my former project on Ghanaian migrants and my new research project on public administration in Stuttgart. In fact, ...

Franziska Meissner, October 2009

Now I could write about an ordinary day in the office, but whilst at times it is amusing to watch my office mate make faces at his computer screen, it is really the weekends when research gets exciting. Ok, I am not referring to those weekends when I sneak into the office, in a rather frantic attempt to meet the impossible deadline I had set myself (I am just at the beginning ...

Tilmann Heil, June 2009

On a recent trip to Senegal I met a friend of a friend, also a German, who was travelling in West Africa. Sitting in the little backyard of a house in suburban Dakar, the capital of the Senegal, we were drinking a glass of wine and talking while waiting for our Senegalese friends. That night we would celebrate my last evening before ...

Sören Petermann, April 2009

The places in which my colleagues do their field work are surprising to me. Their research blogs reveal stories of mantras in Skopje (Goran), games of patience in Stuttgart (Boris) and the hustle and bustle of life in Hackney, London (Susanne). I am particularly envious of Susanne’s field work, and her tales of observing life from a street café. How can quantitative social research ...

Goran Janev, February 2009

Since April last year I have a desk in a nice office with huge window overlooking a trimmed lawn and huge old nut tree at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen. From this serene place, with all the freedom to decide where to continue my research, I opted for Macedonia again. This time I'm looking at the Old Bazaar in Skopje. Stara Charshija, or Turska Charshija, or the 'Turkish Bazaar' ...