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Dear Diary: Early Career Geographers Collectively Reflect on Their Qualitative Field Research Experiences

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After completing a qualitative methods course in geography, we moved classroom discussions into practice. While undertaking graduate fieldwork in sites across the globe, we participated in critical, reflexive journaling. Whereas journal writing is often private, we shared our entries, aiming to facilitate rigour while concurrently exploring similarities and differences. We became conscious of common themes including ethical dilemmas, power relations and researcher fatigue. In this paper, we critically analyse these experiences, examining the strategies implemented to resolve such predicaments. We argue that reflexive group journaling during fieldwork is a valuable learning tool which could be introduced into many research-active curricula.

Keywords: Fieldwork; ethics; gatekeepers; journal writing; researcher fatigue; student voice

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, McGill University, Canada

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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