Inside, outside and in-between: ambiguity, fieldwork and ethnography

Cornish, Helen. 2015. Inside, outside and in-between: ambiguity, fieldwork and ethnography. DISKUS, 17(1), pp. 47-53. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The extent to which researchers in religious fields claim membership of the group has long been a subject of debate in the social sciences. While many theoretical and methodological concerns have been thrashed out since the 1980s, which have resulted in a general consensus that prioritises “good research”, regardless of membership or position. However, in practice, the
faith status of the researcher continues to raise its head, either from
practitioner or scholarly quarters. In this short reflexive account I consider some implications of insider/outsider debates: I start by reflecting on recent conversations about my research status, and use these to explore the shadow the “Lurhmann effect” has cast on my relationships with British Witches and Wiccans and the ambiguous boundaries between inside and outside.

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DISKUS Special edition: 'Interrogating integrity: reflections on the insider/outsider debate'

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5 September 2015Published

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29 Apr 2020 09:25

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:27

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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