I have officially started fieldwork!
Stage 1 is to recruit 3-4 churches to take part in my project. I only have 6 weeks before I go on maternity leave, so my modest goal is to obtain consent from 3 churches who will be willing for me to take part in church life with them during 2012. If I can start taking part in church life in one of those churches before I go on leave, that would be fantastic, but we’ll just see how it goes…
Recruitment involves sending an approach letter to churches in Preston and following up by phone and in person with churches who express a willingness to take part. If you go to a church in Preston and you want to take part, feel free to contact me!
Part of the recruitment process will involve talking about how open I can be in this forum with my experiences in the field. I hope that readers will accept that any reflections on fieldwork experiences will have to wait until the churches involved have provided consent to any such publication.
Stage 2 will be 4 months of fieldwork in each of the churches. Because so much of church life takes place on Sundays, I don’t think it’s feasible to work in more than one church at a time, so I’ll work with churches one after another.
During Stage 2, in addition to what anthropologists call ‘participant-observation’, I will conduct interviews, an ‘auto-photography’ exercise and, hopefully, some discussion groups that invite people to reflect on migration in the context of Scripture. The next couple of posts will provide a bit more detail about these four different types of field method.