Fieldwork and Fashion: Gendered and Classed Performances in Research Sites

Agata Lisiak

Abstract


Researchers' performances in the field are gendered, classed, and ethnicized. We are watched and judged by our respondents based on how we look, what we say, and how we say it. Our appearance in the field may increase or decrease our chances of creating rapport, it may encourage respondents to talk to us or discourage them entirely from taking part in our research. Whereas we have no absolute control over all the factors determining how we present ourselves in the field, we do have some power over our dress. Although the act of getting dressed for fieldwork may appear inconspicuous and mundane, I argue in this article that its implications are most relevant for our thinking about how we design and perform fieldwork. Particularly the assumptions regarding our respondents' and our own class, gender, and ethnicity that we make before entering the field are worthy of careful consideration as they display our thought processes and, as such, are part of academic analysis.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1502146


Keywords


gender; class; fashion; fieldwork; migration; appearance

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-16.2.2334

Copyright (c) 2015 Agata Lisiak

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