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Fieldwork in Developing Countries

Stephen Devereux and John Hoddinott, editors
ISBN: 978-1-55587-392-9
1993/229 pages/LC: 92-16847

" There is much relevance here for anthropologists, particularly for student anthropologists about to embark on ethnographic field research in a developing’ country."—Reviews in Anthropology

"The scope . . . is encyclopedic, the writing is beautifully clear, and the avoidance of jargon makes the topics addressed readily understandable. . . . This well-presented and integrated collection of articles offers the novice fieldworker a rich bagful of experience."—The Journal of Asian Studies

"Goes far beyond the reiteration of age-old maxims."—Janet Roitman


Practical, realistic, and based on firsthand experiences, this sorely needed resource addresses theoretical concerns at the same time that it reflects the important fact that the context within which fieldwork is conducted is absolutely integral to the research process.


Stephen Devereux is a research associate with the Food Studies Group, Oxford University. John Hoddinott is a research officer at the Centre for the Study of African Economics and also college research lecturer in economics at Trinity College, Oxford.


  • The Context of Fieldwork—the Editors.
  • Issues in Data Collection—the Editors.
  • Observers Are Worried: Learning the Language and Counting the People in Northeast Ghana—S. Devereux.
  • Random Sampling and Repeat Surveys in South India—W. Olsen.
  • Fieldwork Under Time Constraints—J. Hoddinott.
  • Qualitative Research: Collecting Life Histories—E. Francis.
  • Field Methods for Economic Mobility—L. da Corta and D. Venkateshwarlu.
  • Sensitive Information: Collecting Data on Livestock and Informal Credit—G. Christensen.
  • Talking to Traders About Trade—B. Harriss.
  • Fieldwork in a Familiar Setting: The Role of Politics at the National, Community, and Household Levels—S. Razavi.
  • Facts or Fictions? Fieldwork Relationships and the Nature of Data—M. Lockwood.
  • Thinking About the Ethics of Fieldwork—K. Wilson.
  • Contrasts in Village- Level Fieldwork: Kenya and India—J. Heyer.
North America only.