Although longitudinal ethnographic research is by no means uncommon, especially within anthropology, its methodological ramifications are rarely explicitly considered. This seminar aims to offer some reflections on the particular perils and pitfalls – but also the unique advantages – of such an endeavour, in particular as they relate to currently ongoing investigations of gang dynamics in barrio Luis Fanor Hernández, a poor neighbourhood in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.
It begins by considering the idea of longitudinal ethnography, and what this actually means in practice, before then exploring how longitudinality can affect the research process, both negatively and positively, with regard to practical considerations as well as research practices. While some of the issues explored are common to all forms of longitudinal research, other concerns are specific to the study of gangs, including more specifically those relating to the changing experience and understanding of risk and danger.
About the Speaker:
Dennis Rodgers is Professor of Urban Social and Political Research at the University of Glasgow, UK. A social anthropologist by training, he works on issues relating to urban development, conflict and violence in Nicaragua, Argentina, and India. Recent publications include the volumes “Popular Representations of Development: Insights from Novels, Films, Television, and Social Media” (co-edited with David Lewis and Michael Woolcock, Routledge, 2013), and “Global Gangs: Street Violence across the World” (co-edited with Jennifer Hazen, University of Minnesota Press, 2014).