The Aesthetic of Being in the Field: Participant Observation with Infantry

Hockey, John C ORCID: 0000-0002-5826-8005 (2016) The Aesthetic of Being in the Field: Participant Observation with Infantry. In: The Routledge Companion to Military Research Methods. Routledge, London, pp. 207-218. ISBN 9781472442758

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A useful and concise definition of participant observation is that offered by Emerson et al. (2002:352): ‘Participant observation – establishing a place in some natural setting on a relatively long-term basis in order to investigate, experience and represent the social life and social processes that occur in that setting…’. The literature on using this method with infantry (e.g. Pipping, 1947/2008, Little, 1964, Ben-Ari, 1998, Segal, 2001, King, 2006, Tortorello, 2010, Irwin, 2012, MacLeish, 2012) and the similar occupation of private military contractor (e.g. Higate, 2012) is not extensive. One of the reasons for this lack of research is the still relatively closed nature of military institutions and the problem of gaining access to troops (Jenkings et al., 2011), but another reason may well be that researchers are put off from engaging with this occupational group due to their perceptions of the difficulties of engaging in fieldwork with them. This chapter will explore the reality of undertaking such research.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Research methods, Observation
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2016 15:05
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:25

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