Creating "the Field": Glocality, Relationality and Transformativity

Hans Erik Næss


Due to its standing as the basic unit of analysis in ethnography, "the field" needs to be approached with precision. However, while there have been plenty of attempts to detach the concept from its historical relation with places and groups, there are few reconstructions of it—not least in sociology—which prove useful in an increasingly complex world. For that reason, the objective in this article is to introduce three dimensions of fieldwork that enable the sociological ethnographer to unravel the concept and reassemble it for analytical purposes. Based on experiences from fieldwork on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) conducted at various sites, the mutually inclusive processes of glocality, relationality and transformativity are discussed as a way to both define and analyze the field. The result is a conceptualization of the field as a way into a research topic (by decreasing the risk of getting lost in the topical diversity) and a way out of it (by increasing the chances of communicating field-relevant findings).



glocality; relationality; transformativity; fieldwork; motorsports; ethnography; participant observation

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Copyright (c) 2016 Hans Erik Næss

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