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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: February 2020

17 - Fieldwork, Field-Friends and the Paradox of Absence

from Part II - Essays: Inspiring Fieldwork


Though I have worked on death rites, Sikhs, emotions and the Church of England, it is to my Mormon research, which began in 1969, that I focus this essay on fieldwork (Douglas, 2010, 2015, 2017, 2018). Through participative and archival research in the UK and the USA, through conferences, the supervision and examination of doctoral work and the ensuing friendships, I have found myself networked with scholars and church members in ways hardly imagined by my first-year postgraduate self. This Mormon chapter of my life has been interspersed with, and much influenced by, the other topics just mentioned, each posing intriguing questions of ‘fieldwork’ and of experience in one ‘field’ leaking or flowing into, or even occasionally flooding, the others.