Distance Fieldwork in Anthropology

Monir Moniruzzaman
Explorations in Anthropology   unpublished
D istance fieldwork has presented me with both opportunities and challenges in studying human organ transplantation and commodification in Bangladesh, though I am currently located in Canada. 1 Lack of financial resources, time constraints, distance and other factors made it impossible for me to conduct fieldwork in person. As the research issue is complicated and at the beginning I could not access the primary sources, I was forced to rely on secondary resources. Because this research issue is
more » ... s research issue is fairly new, however , I could not find even a single published article or book on this issue in the context of Bangladesh though some general information on worldwide organ transplantation was available. I was frustrated with the challenges that obscured my work but quickly realized that a research assistant could conduct fieldwork in Bangladesh under my direct supervision. At the beginning of my project, it was not clear to me how to conduct this research with an assistant so far away. Eventually I made the necessary decisions regarding the direction of my research and was able to begin conducting directed ethnographical fieldwork through the voluntary aide of a research assistant. Every research effort must follow some specific methodology. Research is a collection of methods for the analysis and evaluation of data. The methods adopted for collecting the data of my research is certainly a collaborative effort, which is a collection of different Monir MoniruzzaMan is a PhD Candidate in the ABSTRACT In order to conduct my ethnographic research successfully, I applied a novel but effective means that I prefer to call the distance fieldwork approach. This paper discusses the methods and techniques that I employed to collect data for my research. The use of these methods ensured that I upheld the methodological and ethical principles of ethnographic fieldwork directed from afar. The aim of this paper is not only to outline my research methodology and ethical principles but also to introduce the distance fieldwork approach to anthropologi-cal research. I argue that the distance fieldwork approach can be effective to many extents despite some limitations.