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Safer Field Research in the Social Sciences

Safer Field Research in the Social Sciences
A Guide to Human and Digital Security in Hostile Environments

May 2020 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Exploring the challenges and risks of social science fieldwork, this book shares best practice for conducting research in hostile environments and pragmatic advice to help you make good decisions.

Drawing on the authors’ experiences in regions of conflict and grounded in real-world examples, the book:

·        Provides practical guidance on important considerations like choosing a research question in sensitive contexts

·        Gives advice on data and digital security to help you minimize fieldwork risk in a contemporary research environment

·        Offers tools and templates you can use to develop a tailored security framework

Building your understanding of the challenges of on-the-ground research, this book empowers you to meet the challenges of your research landscape head on.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Before the Field
Chapter 3: In the Field
Chapter 4: After the Field
Chapter 5: Thinking Systematically about Digital Security
Chapter 6: Tools and Tactics for Data Protection
Chapter 7: Conclusion: The Role of Research Institutions

This handbook offers crucial insights into how we can better think about and try to manage risks in our research endeavors. It is particularly useful as it goes beyond the one-sided focus on researcher safety and on fieldwork, emphasizing how risks extend far beyond fieldwork, particularly for research subjects and collaborators living in the research setting. By providing a range of concrete examples from various settings, the book provides invaluable insights, highlighting also how questions around safety and risk vary depending on context and also shift (sometimes rapidly) over time.

Maria Eriksson Baaz
Professor, Department of Government, Uppsala University

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This title is also available on SAGE Research Methods, the ultimate digital methods library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.