What is the place of emotions in fieldwork? Do emotions hinder research, or do they help the researcher to understand better those they are studying? Qualitative researchers have mixed feelings about emotions and the effects on their research. Consequently, many fieldworkers allow themselves to have particular feelings, such as closeness with participants, and try to deny or get rid of emotions deemed inappropriate within the fieldwork community.
The significant costs associated with ignoring feelings are taken up in this volume as Kleinman and Copp explore links between emotions and analysis. The authors examine how fieldworkers' feelings--about their professional identity, their work, and the people they study--inform analyses. The conclusion offers an extended example from one of the author's field studies to highlight how fieldworkers' emotions can add power to qualitative analyses. An appendix demonstrates how to weave emotions into fieldnotes and into preliminary analyses.
"Of the many recent methodological contributions, Sherryl Kleinman and Martha Copp's Emotions and Fieldwork offers a unique and important perspective, one that should be taken seriously by quantitative and qualitative researchers alike. No matter what variety of research one conducts, Kleinman and Copp's methodological critique provides an important way of thinking about the research process."
--Theory and Methods
"Kleinman and Copp move qualitative research into a new domain of discussion by focusing on the role of emotion in fieldwork. . . . Well-written and tightly organized, Emotions and Fieldwork is a groundbreaking contribution to the literature on ethnography and fieldwork."
"This is a valuable research monograph for practitioners and students of qualitative methods and stands in bold contrast to books that advocate leaving emotions at home when one goes to the field. Kleinman and Copp understand the emotional complexities of fieldwork and the empowerment that may result from exploring feelings thoroughly. Reading this book might ameliorate some of the culture shock that can occur for the novice, who expects it all to work like following recipes in a cookbook."