Research assistants

Research takes a lot of time. That seems obvious, but you only fully understand what it means when you are setting up an independent research. You have to arrange meetings with people that are specialists on your topic of research; you have to find a translator in case you go to a country where they speak a language that is abracadabra to you; and you have to arrange all practicalities (residence, transports, etcetera). So, rule number one in research is: there are no days off. Even if you choose to take a day off, your head will be spinning around all the time.

I am very happy to say that I finally booked my flight. I am leaving the Netherlands at the fifth of January, not to return until the twenty-eight of March. Also, residence is almost settled. The most positive, necessary and interesting development is that I have found several people who are willing to assist me in my research.

I owe much to our study advisor who gave me the advice to contact the department of Cultural Anthropology at Ljubljana University. Indeed, I sent them an e-mail and (until now) five students have responded to my request for assistance. Their assistance is needed in contacting Roma communities, advising which specialists to meet during my fieldwork and, last but not least, in translating interviews from English to Slovene and vice versa.

Remarkably, all five are female students. That might be due to the typical make-up of the study Cultural Anthropology (where there seems to be two ladies for every male person involved), and to the fact that I am female, myself. Still, it might be interesting to see how this is gonna work out in the field. Being female might influence my research data and the selection of informants, so I should definitely be aware of that.

Anyhow, we’re moving in the right direction!
I’ll get back to you soon…

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