‘SHE’S FROM BOTHY SIKE’ CHALLENGES TO RESEARCH AND THE EXPERIENCE OF BELONGING
All too often, we see what we expect to see and it is easy to miss what we are not looking for. Using a personal narrative approach, this paper reflexively explores the unexpected opportunities that research challenges can raise. The following experience forms part of a broader ethnographic project concerned with the performance of belonging and community in rural villages. Challenged by limited research funding, I chose to reduce my costs by volunteering at a nearby backpackers in exchange for accommodation. I soon realized that I was seen to belong to the backpackers community, not only by my fellow workers, but also by residents of the nearby villages I wished to research. Ultimately, this paper proposes that researchers embrace research challenges and be open to the unexpected advantages and experiences they can provide.
community, belonging, storytelling, performance, boundaries, ritual, fieldwork experience, research challenges