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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Event Series
March 30, 2023

Online DIJ talk by Chika Watanabe on Patchwork Ethnography

© Chika Watanabe

Against the background of neoliberal university labour conditions, expectations of work-life balance, and environmental concerns, long-term fieldwork is becoming difficult for researchers using ethnographic methods. Gökçe Günel and Chika Watanabe propose ‘patchwork ethnography’ to consolidate the innovations that are already happening in ethnographic research out of necessity—to balance family and research, for example—but that remain black boxed. Patchwork ethnography begins from the acknowledgement that recombinations of ‘home’ and ‘field’ have perhaps always existed in fieldwork practices. However, the interpenetration of the personal with the professional is often deemed illegitimate in research practices. This talk presents patchwork ethnography as a provocation to open spaces of honest conversation so that models other than uninterrupted fieldwork can become recognized methodological approaches, while still upholding the importance of long-term commitments, language proficiency, and contextual knowledge. Details and registration here

Chika Watanabe, University of Manchester