Understanding and managing one's own mistrust: The value of embodied ethnography during fieldwork in a contested postwar polity 1

Andrea Peinhopf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Focusing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the contested state of Abkhazia, this chapter explores how my identity as a Western researcher and a young, unmarried woman engendered feelings of mistrust vis-à-vis the people I encountered in the field. While such feelings first appeared as a sign of professional failure, the chapter argues that they in fact provided unique insights into the world of my research participants, who themselves constantly worried about who to trust. The chapter hence advocates an embodied approach to fieldwork, whereby certain challenges should be understood as part of the data, not as limits to data collection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearching in the Former Soviet Union
Subtitle of host publicationStories from the Field
EditorsJasmin Dall'Agnola, Allyson Edwards, Marnie Howlett
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781003144168
ISBN (Print)9780367699932, 9780367699956
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameBASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

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