On methodology

Research and fieldwork in Northeast India

  • Dolly Kikon University of Melbourne


The anxieties to produce good research work is inherent in academia. Particularly, in the social sciences, research work that requires fieldwork and demands an encounter with the larger society that is outside one’s respective departments and the university produces various kinds of experiences and feelings. Among anthropologists, one can be lost in the field, fall in love, get frustrated, or go native. Yet, the tension between capturing what one witnesses during fieldwork and the producing a piece of work that contains a sharp theoretical analysis and an introspective narrative is often challenging. This essay is not a prescriptive note about methodology, but it is rather my attempt to reflect about doing fieldwork and the circumstances under which we carry out research work in Northeast India.


Niko Besnier & Pablo Morales: Tell the Story: How to write for American Ethnologist. American Ethnologist, Vol 45. No. 2, pp. 163-172.