University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Fieldwork Seminar: Methodologies in the 'field' > Asking about poverty and injustice: Managing others' expectations and keeping emotional health during fieldwork in Mexico

Asking about poverty and injustice: Managing others' expectations and keeping emotional health during fieldwork in Mexico

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Trained as a chemical engineer, my fieldwork in Mexico to conduct research about the local perspectives of natural resources and its links to the ideas of ‘good living’, poverty and justice, represented a steep learning curve. Not only for being the first time that I worked with qualitative research methods, but also because by asking people about their experiences of poverty and injustice I was opening a very personal communication channel that required a constant process of self-conscious scrutiny of myself as a researcher and of the research process. From one side, it required an acute scrutiny of the potential expectations that my questions could raise, and a candid communication of my limitations to fulfil these expectations. From the other side, it required managing my emotions after hearing experiences of poverty and injustice without reducing empathy. In the seminar, I will discuss the challenges of both processes.

This talk is part of the Fieldwork Seminar: Methodologies in the 'field' series.

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