A Sustained Solitude : On building community

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Abstract

This paper explores the personal challenges of ethnographic fieldwork and the
insight these challenges provide on how to live a sustainable and fulfilled human
life. It is written as a meditation on fieldwork conducted in Berlin, Germany as part
of my PhD project. This fieldwork focuses on understanding the democratisation
processes of cities that have undergone significant societal conflict and division.
In this research, I take methodological approaches from the anthropological
tradition (such as qualitative interview and participant observation) to examine
archives and memorials documenting experiences of incarceration. Placing the
ethnographic lens on myself in this piece allows me to explore both my impetus
for conducting this type of research and what I have learned from the personal
challenges of doing so. Rather than focusing on the purely academic, I chose to
write this piece as a personal narrative to describe my inclination for wandering
and why I think this inclination is important to examine in the context of my
current research. These ideas are connected to wider ideas around sustainability
through an examination of the importance of building and fostering meaningful
human connections and community during these uncertain times.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalIntersections (Postgraduate Journal - Arts , Humanities , Social Sciences)
Volume1
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • ethnographic fieldwork
  • sustainable
  • Berlin
  • personal narrative

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