Interview as an Act of Seduction: Analysing Problems I Have Met during My Fieldwork on the Camino de Santiago and in Glastonbury

  • Tiina Sepp PhD student at the University of Tartu

Abstract

In this article I am going to analyse my experiences of fieldwork and discuss the role of the researcher in the process of data collection. I will approach problems arising during folkloristic fieldwork and the focus will be on researching belief narrative in personal experience stories. A lot has been written about fieldwork and in this article I am going to add my thoughts on topics that have already been discussed in self-critical reflexive style by several scholars: the different roles of the researcher and the problematic interactional relationship between researcher and informant; power relationships in an interview situation; combining emic and etic perspectives in researching; being ambivalent about which reality we really belong to. I am also going to raise some issues that have to date not been discussed much: the effect of the researcher’s gender on the process of fieldwork; stigmatisation of the supernatural; using the researcher’s own memorates to elicit belief statements from his or her informants; dealing with ‘difficult’ informants. Against the background of the above-mentioned topics lies the liminality of the researcher – while in the field we are in a state of liminality that Victor Turner described when talking about pilgrims and neophytes.Apart from discussing fieldwork-related problems, I am also going to describe some expressions of vernacular religion and contemporary spirituality on the Camino de Santiago and in Glastonbury. 
Published
2013-01-10
How to Cite
SEPP, Tiina. Interview as an Act of Seduction: Analysing Problems I Have Met during My Fieldwork on the Camino de Santiago and in Glastonbury. Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 29-48, jan. 2013. ISSN 2228-0987. Available at: <http://www.jef.ee/index.php/journal/article/view/97>. Date accessed: 23 sep. 2021.
Section
Articles

Keywords

liminality of researcher; stigmatisation of the supernatural; gendered fieldwork; Camino de Santiago; Glastonbury