For experienced and inexperienced researchers and practitioners alike, this engaging book opens up new perspectives on conducting fieldwork in the Global South. Following an inter–disciplinary and inter-generational approach, Understanding Global Development brings into dialogue reflections on fieldwork experiences by leading scholars along with accounts from early career researchers. Contributions are organised around six key issues:  • Meaningful participation in fieldwork  • Working in dangerous environments  • Gendered experiences of fieldwork  • Researching elites  • Conducting fieldwork with marginalised people  • Fieldwork in development practice. The experience–led discussion of each of the topics conveys a sense of what it actually feels like to be out in the field and provides readers with useful insights and practical advice. A relational framework highlights issues relating to power, identity and ethics in development fieldwork, and encourages reflection on how researcher engagement with the field shapes our understanding of global development.

Marginalisation(s) at the Margins: Studying Identity, Ethnicity and Conflict in Rural Bolivia

Marginalisation(s) at the Margins: Studying Identity, Ethnicity and Conflict in Rural Bolivia

Lorenza B. Fontana


After asking around for a while, I eventually found Don Marcelo1 in the waiting room of the local clinic, a series of white-painted semi-empty rooms under an old tin roof. A woman was crying and I was told that her mother – Don Marcelo’s mother-in-law – had just died after being bitten by a snake. This, I thought, is how you die in this remote corner of Northwest Bolivia, a strip of scarcely populated hills between the Amazon and the Andean Cordillera. Despite the circumstances, Don Marcelo, a local leader of the Leco indigenous people, was keen to proceed with our interview. He grabbed two blocks of chopped wood, which ...

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