Creating "the Field": Glocality, Relationality and Transformativity


  • Hans Erik Næss Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology



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


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).



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Author Biography

Hans Erik Næss, Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology

Hans Erik NAESS earned his PhD in sociology at the University of Oslo, Norway, in 2014 and has published "A Sociology of the FIA World Rally Championship. History, Identity, Memories and Place" (Palgrave Macmillan 2014). Currently affiliated with the Faculty of Management at Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology, his research interests include motorsports, cultural sociology, management studies, qualitative methods, and popular culture.




How to Cite

Næss, H. E. (2016). Creating "the Field": Glocality, Relationality and Transformativity. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 17(3).



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