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.

Fieldwork at the Margins

Section III: Introduction

At its core, much ‘development’ research seeks to shed light on the (re)production of inequalities that are at the root of socioeconomic stratification of world society. In order to understand the intertwining political, cultural and economic reasons behind persistent inequalities, it is necessary to give voice to those who find themselves in vulnerable or marginalised positions. Meaningful engagement with marginalised people requires researchers to navigate complex webs of power which manifest themselves in sociocultural interactions and exchanges. The ways in which researchers manage these interactions and, wittingly or unwittingly, (re)produce power dynamics between themselves and those they are working with have serious epistemological (i.e. what is discoverable?), methodological (i.e. how is communication achieved?) and ethical implications (i.e. ...

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