Problematizing the field:Theorizing spatial volatility in ethnographic fieldwork

Chughtai, Hameed (2014) Problematizing the field:Theorizing spatial volatility in ethnographic fieldwork. In: 35th International Conference on Information Systems "Building a Better World Through Information Systems", ICIS 2014. Association for Information Systems, NZL. ISBN 9781634396943

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The purpose of this paper is to problematize the idea of the ethnographic field that is usually taken for granted in Information Systems (IS) field research. The field is the touchstone of reality which the ethnographer encounters yet it is often thought of something fixed and merely 'out there' where the ethnographer goes to conduct the research. However, recent advances in anthropological scholarship disclose that the field might be in constant flux. In this paper, thus, we focus on just one aspect of the changing field, that of spatial volatility. We report some spatial issues during our eight months of ethnographic fieldwork among young information technology professionals in a large scale technology organization. We suggest that the hermeneutic of volatility can provide access to significant moments during fieldwork by taking spatial aspects into account. The study aims to contribute toward adding conceptual tools in the ethnographic toolkit for IS researchers.

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06 Jul 2023 08:40
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21 Sep 2023 04:07