ABSTRACT

Most people contemplating ‡eldwork are preoccupied with the tasks at hand-‡guring out what information you need, ‡guring out how to get it, and then ‡guring out what to do with it once you’ve gotten it. However, the world of ‡eldwork is much more complex than that simple task-centered environment you may imagine. By undertaking ‡eldwork, you are entering a universe of “others”: people and groups whom you must negotiate with in order to get your work done. Depending on where your ‡eld is located, these others may be people you have known all your life with whom you must now forge new relationships centered on research; or people whose existence you may not even have been aware of when you were contemplating your project, pre-‡eldwork, in blissful ignorance. In this chapter, we take on some of the issues involved in creating and sustaining relationships with these “others.”