By: Case Watkins
Article Title, Issue and Volume:
The field and the work: Hybridity as mantra and method
What is the main purpose of your study?
This study outlines the author’s approach to fieldwork.
What are the practical, day to day, implications of your study?
The study reflects on the author’s fieldwork experiences in Bahia, Brazil, to organize and analyze the research process.
How does your study relate to other work on the subject?
The study draws on previous work on methods and theories of place in geography to develop a distinct but adaptable approach to fieldwork and research.
What are two or three interesting findings that come from your study?
A hybrid approach to fieldwork empowers researchers with philosophical and practical tools. It allows researchers to collaborate, and think through their collaborations, with people and places. A hybrid approach to fieldwork relies on a diversity of methods, sources, and voices to reconstruct more inclusive and representative versions of the past, present, and futures. Research is always a political project. Rather than biases to be avoided, social and political commitments help situate research projects and their products as endeavors toward social and environmental justice.
What might be some of the theoretical implications of this study?
Fieldwork can be understood as a dynamic hybrid of methods and places. Framing the research process as hybrid allows researchers to view methods, places, sources, collaborators, environments, and even mishaps as influential inputs in a dynamic system.
How does your research help us think about Geography?
Fieldwork has long been fundamental to the practice of geography. This study brings together a variety of geographical treatments of methodology and place to organize and discuss some of the pleasures, pitfalls, and processes of doing geography in the field.