Field Research in Political Science

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 19, 2015 - Political Science - 455 pages
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Field research - leaving one's home institution in order to acquire data, information or insights that significantly inform one's research - remains indispensable, even in a digitally networked era. This book, the first of its kind in political science, reconsiders the design and execution of field research and explores its role in producing knowledge. First, it offers an empirical overview of fieldwork in the discipline based on a large-scale survey and extensive interviews. Good fieldwork takes diverse forms yet follows a set of common practices and principles. Second, the book demonstrates the analytic benefits of fieldwork, showing how it contributes to our understanding of politics. Finally, it provides intellectual and practical guidance, with chapters on preparing for field research, operating in the field and making analytic progress while collecting data, and on data collection techniques including archival research, interviewing, ethnography and participant observation, surveys, and field experiments.
 

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Contents

practices and principles
1
A historical and empirical overview of field research in the discipline
34
Preparing for fieldwork
82
logistical social operational and ethical challenges
119
discovering data in the field
151
Interviews oral histories and focus groups
190
ethnography and participant observation
234
Surveys in the context of field research
266
Experiments in the field
299
Analyzing writing and retooling in the field
332
The future of field research in political science
368
methodology for survey and indepth interviews
412
References
416
Index
447
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About the author (2015)

Diana Kapiszewski is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.

Lauren M. MacLean is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Indiana University.

Benjamin L. Read is Associate Professor in the Politics Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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