Fieldwork and Emotions: Positionality, Method Choices, and a Radio Program in South Sudan

  • Kerstin Tomiak


This chapter offers insight into the ways in which emotions affect our present and future positionalities during fieldwork. While focus on positionality in scholarly literature tends to be on ethnicity, gender, and class, Kerstin Tomiak, conducting fieldwork in a refugee camp in South Sudan, argues it is not only these parts of a researcher’s self that have an impact. Grappling with her own reactions to the deeply emotional responses of her interviewees, Tomiak discusses the role that emotional labor played in her reactions to stories told by research participants. She concludes that experiences made in the field, and the emotions that these trigger, play an important and overlooked part in a researcher’s positionality and in turn affect method choices for research projects going forward.


South Sudan Refugee Positionality Emotions Method choices 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kerstin Tomiak
    • 1
  1. 1.Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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