Research Report 2007

Publications by writers and editors at Memorial University

Doing Fieldwork: Ethnographic Research for Fieldwork in Developing Countries

By Dr. Wayne Fife

Book Cover: Doing Fieldwork

A new research methods guide, written by Dr. Wayne Fife, head of the Anthropology Department, is designed to be both adaptable and accessible.

Doing Fieldwork: Ethnographic Research for Fieldwork in Developing Countries is a guide to conducting qualitative research in any setting, on any topic. Dr. Fife's intent was to target a broad audience that included professional researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, those conducting research for community groups, and especially scholars in developing countries who are asked by their governments to study areas where they may have no background or expertise.

Unlike "how-to" books that offer instructions on conducting research in ideal situations, this guide draws on Dr. Fife's experiences from his own research in Papua New Guinea, as well as in Ontario, Newfoundland and Spain to deliver anecdotes and advice on responding effectively when things don't go as planned.

In addition to covering fieldwork, this guide offers information on initially formulating a research project, and on using the collected data after the fieldwork is complete.

Furthermore, it incorporates information on evaluating the macro elements - the economic and political structures of a country or region, for example - along with the micro facets of living and working on the ground.

Dr. Fife's book is available in both hardcover and paperback. The former allows the publisher - Palgrave MacMillan, the academic arm of St. Martin's Press - to recoup its costs in library sales. The latter sells at a much lower price, so that it's affordable for the broadest audience.

Dr. Fife is an associate professor and head of anthropology at Memorial.

Doing Fieldwork: Ethnographic Research for Fieldwork in Developing Countries is available at the University Bookstore.