I am about to leave for my four-month fieldwork in Japan. All the preparation – recruiting research participants, preparing ethics statements and consent forms, and confirming research locations – is done. But there is still some preparation to be done for the conducting of focus groups of patients, which will provide supplemental data in the later stage of fieldwork.
I like Cunliffe’s definition of ethnography: ‘Ethnography is not a quick dip into a research site using surveys and interviews, but an extended period of time in which the ethnographer immerses herself in the community she is studying: interacting with community members, observing, building relationships, and participating in community life. She then has to translate that experience so that it is meaningful to the reader’ (Cunliffe, ‘Retelling Tales of the Field’, 2010). This is true. Jumping into prompt interviews is not field research. Including literature studies on the context, I will need to make a significant effort to be a part of a community and to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural dynamics.
The first year of my PhD programme is ending. This year, I was able to keep writing my diary every week. I completed 90% of the drafts of literature review chapters, gained a better understanding of my research field, and enjoyed teaching very much. I also had a wonderful time with my partner throughout the year, and no ordinary thanks can express my gratitude to him.
I feel that the first year of research was a baby step of my PhD journey and that there are so many aspects that need to be fixed and updated. I have tons of things to learn, which will sometimes seem overwhelming. But I believe that the four-month field research will eventually bring me some confidence in research.
Goals for Week 53:
- Update my paper to send it to an online journal (due in two weeks)
- Edit Chapter 2