Things to Consider Before I Go…
As I finish packing, send last minute emails and meetings with professors, and antagonize over the finer details of the unplannable aspects of my two month long visit to Ireland, I am simultaneously faced with all the complications of anthropological fieldwork and international travel.
Even if I’ve managed to find all the cheapest but still safe places to stay means to travel (which I probably haven’t despite my best efforts), I am still left pondering all the hard anthropological questions of preliminary fieldwork …
Is my project going to be community focused, multi-sited, regional based, or somehow encompass the whole of Ireland?
I have my research topic and population, but what is my research issue? In other words, how do I really sell my project as worthy of completing. Sure it interests me, but as my dad puts it “why does it matter”?
How can I utilize my time as efficiently and effectively as possible? I’ve written a project proposal and an IRB, so I have been contemplating this question for at least the past six months. But it is definitely something I should ask myself everyday while I am in the field.
Finally, there are all those nagging questions of self-doubt, once I get there will I be able to find the people I am looking for? Will people be willing to talk to me? Here’s hoping my natural charm and sweet disposition, not to mention the years of training, is enough to pull this off.