As emotion is often linked with irrationality, it's no surprise researchers tend to underreport the emotions they experience in the field. However, denying emotion altogether doesn't necessarily lead to better research. Methods cannot function independently from the personalities wielding them, and it's time we questioned the tendency to underplay the scientific, personal, and political consequences of the emotional dimensions of fieldwork. This book explores the idea that emotion is not antithetical to thought or reason, but is instead an untapped source of insight that can complement more traditional methods of anthropological research.With a new, re-humanized methodological framework, this book shows how certain reactions and experiences consistently evoked in fieldwork, when treated with the intellectual rigor empirical work demands, can be translated into meaningful data. Emotions in the Field brings to mainstream anthropological awareness not only the viability and necessity of this neglected realm of research, but also its fresh and thoughtful guiding principles.
James Davies is a member of St Cross College at the University of Oxford, a practicing psychotherapist in the National Health Service (Oxford), and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Human and Life Sciences at Roehampton University. He is the author of The Making of Psychotherapists: An Anthropological Analysis (2009).Dimitrina Spencer is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Oxford e-Research Centre and a Research Associate at the Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society at the University of Oxford.