Ethnographic Fieldwork

SAHWA Ethnographic Fieldwork is one of the two main pillars of the SAHWA Project (the other one being the SAHWA Youth Survey). Carried out throughout five countries of study, it allowed creating a unique qualitative dataset which will be used for further analysis on Arab Mediterranean youth, publications and other SAHWA deliverables.

The qualitative data collection entails a variety of ethnographic fieldwork reports as well as different techniques in each country. Each type of ethnographic fieldwork report takes into account a specific/various specific objective(s) related to research questions:

* Focus Groups: As a form of qualitative research, focus groups are group interviews, although not in the sense of an alternation between the researcher's questions and answers of the research participants. Instead, there is a dependence based on the interaction within the group, based on the themes provided by the researcher, who typically takes the role of moderator; 

* Life Stories: It consists of an individual’s narrative about personal experiences of the interviewee over time, normally based on successive oral interviews between a researcher (interviewer) and -in our case- a youngster (the interviewee);

* Life Stories video collection: It complements the life stories written reports. The idea was to film few conversations with young people per country reflecting the option of establishing a generational story (of people of similar age). These young people will be the life stories protagonists. The aim is that every young person interviewed can share their worries, aspirations and opportunities. These recorded interviews were conducted between April and September 2015. 

* Narrative Interviews: These interviews were the main technique used in the SAHWA Project. It consists of a non-standardised interview technique, the main goal of which is the reconstruction of the interviewee’s experience, according to the system of values of the interviewee. He/she builds a story, a narrative, of his/her experience; these stories reconstruct the time and space of the interviewee’s everyday life, his/her orientations and his/her projects and strategies; 

* Focused Ethnographies: The focused ethnography on groups of young people improved the traditional techniques of ethnographic fieldwork: observation, participant observation, informal chats and conversations and fieldnotes. The main objective of the Focused Ethnographies is to introduce people to the everyday life of young peer group in their locations taking into consideration the main activities of the group.

These deliverables allowed the SAHWA team to create a unique qualitative dataset for the region. This dataset will be analysed thoroughly by all researchers involved in SAHWA for the writing of many SAHWA papers (Scientific papers, policy papers, policy reports, etc.). Besides, 5 National Case Studies (one per country of study) written by Arab Mediterranean partners draw on results from this qualitative dataset and from the SAHWA Youth Survey. Their aim is to offer a first overview of the qualitative results.

Download the full description of the Ethnographic Fieldwork here.


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