Leaving the field

Methodological insights from ethnographic exits

Edited by Robin James Smith and Sara Delamont

Leaving the field
Hardcover -
  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526157652
  • Publish Date: Jul 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526157645
  • Publish Date: Jul 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Buy Now £90.00

    Delivery Exc. North and South America


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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5765-2
    • Pages: 264
    • Price: £90.00
    • Published Date: July 2023


    Leaving the field gathers various accounts of ethnographers leaving their field sites. In doing so, the book offers original insights into an often-overlooked aspect of the research process; the ethnographic exit. The chapters variously consider situations in which the researcher must extricate themselves from field relations, deal with unexpected or imperfect ends to projects, or manage situations in which 'the field' becomes hard to leave. Whilst the chapters are firmly focussed on ethnographic exits, they also provide more general methodological insights into the conduct of fieldwork and the writing of ethnography, as well as questioning established notions of 'the field' as a bounded setting the researcher straightforwardly visits and then leaves. The book highlights the importance of recognising ethnographic exits as an essential part of the research process.


    Leaving the field: an editors' introduction
    Sara Delamont and Robin James Smith

    Part I Entanglements and im/perfect exits
    1 Finishing fieldwork in less than perfect circumstances: lessons learned in 'labyrinth' exiting
    Alexandra Allan and Sarah Cole
    2 Exeunt omnes!! The case for bad exits in ethnography
    Sally Campbell Galman
    3 Reflections on care and attachment in the 'departure lounge' of ethnography
    Alex McInch and Harry C.R. Bowles
    4 Unfinished business: a reflection on leaving the field
    Gareth M. Thomas
    5 Materia erotica: making love among glass-blowers
    Erin O'Connor

    Part II Troubling the field
    6 Those who never leave us
    Jessica Nina Lester and Allison Daniel Anders
    7 Déjà vu et jamais vu: what happens when the field expands in ways that mean there is no exit?
    Dawn Mannay
    8 Student voices 'echo' from the ethnographic field
    Janean Robinson, Barry Down and John Smyth
    9 Public space and visible poverty: research fields without exit
    Andrew P. Carlin
    10 'The martial will never leave your bones': embodying the field of the Kung Fu family
    George Jennings

    Part III Intermissions and returns
    11 Between open and closed: recursive exits and returns to the fuzzy field of a community library across a decade of austerity
    Alice Corble
    12 On the importance of intermissions in ethnographic fieldwork: lessons from leaving New York
    Joe Williams
    13 Can you remember? Leaving and returning to the field in longitudinal research with people living with dementia
    Andrew Clark and Sarah Campbell
    14 A constant apprenticeship in martial arts: the messy longitudinal dynamics of never leaving the field
    David Calvey

    Part IV Returns, responsibilities and representations after 'leaving'
    15 A cautionary tale about 'respondent validation': the dissonant meeting of 'field self' and 'author self'
    Daniel Burrows
    16 Commenting on legal practice: research relationships and the impact of criticism
    Daniel Newman
    17 Emotional honesty and reflections on problematic positionalities when conducting research in another country
    Ashley Rogers


    Robin James Smith is Reader in Sociology at Cardiff University

    Sara Delamont is Emerita Reader in the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

    Leaving the field

    Edited by Robin James Smith, Sara Delamont

    Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

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