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Methodology and Fieldwork

Vinay Kumar Srivastava (Author)
Synopsis The Oxford in India Readings in Sociology and Social Anthropology comprise a set of volumes, each on an important theme or sub-area within these disciplines. Along with authoritative introductions and sectional prefaces, each book brings together key essays that apprise readers of the current debates and developments within that area, with specific reference to India. The volumes act both as introductions to sociology and social anthropology and as essential reference works for students, teachers and researchers. This reader provides a comprehensive and cross disciplinary account of research methodology, covering the character of social research, fieldwork, ethnography, and survey research as also the ethical and ideological issues involved in doing research. The contributions from well-known ethnographers and social scientists highlight the nature of social research, and conceptualize social reality and its dimensions. They discuss the importance of classifications, the relevance of comparison and restudy in social research, and the possibility of arriving as close as possible to the subject's point of view. In addition, the volume engages with ethnography and fieldwork, factors conditioning the choice of field area, comparison of fieldwork in rural and urban areas, the use of techniques in fieldwork and the improvisations needed, and finally the use of visuals in anthropological research. The readings also focus on surveys and documents that form an integral part of social research including data that is gathered through oral and written interviews. The volume emphasizes the importance of both qualitative and quantitative aspects of methodology and dwells on specific situations encountered while conducting fieldwork in India including the centrality of caste, the data from census, the existence of diaries and specific field documents. Acknowledging that the most sensitive aspect of sociological enquiry involves ethical and ideological issues that crop up during investigations, the final section engages with how ethical issues differ when studying societies and communities different from one's own. It also enumerates the problems of conducting a study with women, the ethical and methodological problems confronted when studying one's own society, and payments and other favours that need to be made to respondents during fieldwork. This collection of essays on methodology and fieldwork is an indispensable read for students, teachers and researchers across disciplines, particularly those from sociology, social anthropology, and other branches of social sciences.
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About the author

Vinay Kumar Srivastava

Vinay Kumar Srivastava teaches social anthropology at the University of Delhi. He is the author of Religious Renunciation of a Pastoral People and has edited Methodology and Fieldwork. He has carried out intensive fieldwork in western Rajasthan, and is presently working on a book on the economy of a seminomadic, pastora community.

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Bibliographic information

Title Methodology and Fieldwork
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
length x+500p., 23cm.