Safety

It is often impossible during fieldwork to separate out our experiences into the binary of safe/unsafe. One does not have to be staring down the barrel of a gun, or running against the wind away from teargas in order to feel in danger. University risk assessments are usually not sufficient to explore the diverse range of safety concerns facing lone ethnographers in fieldwork. They also pay little attention to the dangers we may (inadvertently) place our research participants in by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Important scholarship has sparked debate surrounding the affective dimensions of fieldwork, and the integration of these experiences into our scholarship (Stodulka, Dinkelaker and Thajib: forthcoming 2018). Through the blog pieces shared under the theme of safety, we hope to contribute an applied component to this debate, questioning how our professional associations and universities might learn from the ways researchers deal with safety in the field, and how we might move forward in developing relevant and usable guidelines on safety and fieldwork for future research.