Opportunities and Challenges of Navigating Fieldwork as Insider and Outsider Fieldworkers
For some of us, our research projects are situated back home or in locations where we have already spent considerable time. For the rest of us, our field sites could be in locations where we are visiting or living for the first time. Some of us work closely with people in our own communities, whilst others join local communities as external fieldworkers. Depending on our backgrounds, we may navigate fieldwork as “insider” researchers, “outsider” researchers, or both.

There may be varying kinds of social norms and local expectations for researchers from different backgrounds. Some of us might start our fieldwork as outsiders, but we may find ourselves no longer entirely outsiders after spending some time in the field, and the ways in which locals consider us may also shift over time. Similarly, insiders may be subject to new expectations from their local communities when returning home for fieldwork after spending some time outside their communities.

At this workshop, former fieldworkers will share their experiences in the field, and we will discuss the opportunities and challenges of navigating fieldwork as insiders, outsiders, or both. The workshop is an open space for meeting other fieldworkers and discussing various fieldwork-related topics, including but not limited to tips and strategies to prepare for and navigate fieldwork smoothly. Staff and students are welcome to join the workshop.


Keiko Kanno


Aikedan Ainiwaer (DPhil, Area Studies)

Dr Catherine Grasham (Postdoctoral Researcher in Water Security and Society)

Zenobie Van de Perrer (DPhil, Anthropology)

Femke Vulto (DPhil, Anthropology)
Date: 27 February 2024, 14:00 (Tuesday, 7th week, Hilary 2024)
Venue: Manor Road Building, Manor Road OX1 3UQ
Speakers: Femke Vulto (University of Oxford), Zenobie Van de Perrer (University of Oxford), Dr Catherine Grasham (University of Oxford), Aikedan Ainiwaer (University of Oxford), Keiko Kanno (University of Oxford)
Organising department: Social Sciences Division
Organiser: Keiko Kanno (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address: researcherdevelopment@socsci.ox.ac.uk
Part of: Social Sciences Division Training Workshops - Researcher Development - Hilary Term 2024
Booking required?: Required
Booking url: https://www.socsci.ox.ac.uk/event/insider-and-outsider-fieldworkers
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Keiko Kanno