After fieldwork: Methodological reflections

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Suggested for the 4th year PhD students in "Political Science and Sociology" and in "Transnational Governance"


This course is reserved exclusively to the IV year students of the PhDs in "Political Science and Sociolgy" and in "Transnational Governance" of the Scuola Normale Superiore.

The seminar will have a workshop format, which means that participating IV year PhD students will be required to be active during the course. Before the beginning of the seminar each participant will need to upload a 5 pages paper outlining their fieldwork, in terms of: a very brief outline of the project (half page, no more); provide an overview of all the empirical material collected or closed to be collected (2 pages, no more); possible issues that have emerged during the fieldwork (including problems) (2 pages, no more); what next and which dilemmas (half a page, no more). Deadline for submission will be one week before the start of the seminar. The text should be submitted in a Google drive folder opened by the teacher. The intent of this 5 pages paper is to prompt each IV student to reflect and consider their own fieldwork experience, but also to share this with their colleagues.

Obiettivi formativi

The aim of this seminar is to assist IV year PhDs from SNS in thinking through the many aspects of moving from data collection to writing their thesis dissertation. In particular, this seminar is oriented to reflecting on preparing for fieldwork, the fieldwork experience, unpacking the fieldwork material, implementing methodological reflections on the outcome of ongoing/already accomplished research fieldwork, highlighting the difficulties we all have in making analytical sense of the fieldwork material, and starting to structure the dissertation. Wishing to establish the link between the concrete fieldwork and more abstract theoretical and methodological assumptions, this seminar engages IV year PhDs who are producing/have produced fieldwork research and discuss how this aspect of their PhD work relates to their theoretical framework. The seminar is NOT aimed to provide one solution in the shift from fieldwork to PhD dissertation writing. If anyhow helpful its main aims are a) to get in depth peer-to-peer and teachers feedback; b) the possibility to learn about each other’s reflections on research fieldwork and how to move to work on the writing of the dissertation.