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Sample Paper on at Home in the Field

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Sample Paper on at Home in the Field

The most significant ideas I have borrowed from this reading is that before planning to conduct field research, it is significant to find out about the situation in the selected area of study. For instance, the researcher chose Egypt, but her schedule collided with the  time when the country was making reconstruction efforts (Altorki, 1994). As a result, movement from one village or city to the next was hard to come by which saw the researcher waste the entire six months before she realized she had to choose another area of study. If she had taken time to learn about the situation that the reconstruction process would create, she would have been wiser to choose a different country. Six months of no achievements is not only a waste of time but resources as well.

I became shocked at the discovery of how much culture means to some communities and not even education can corrode its significance. For instance, the author, a single woman, did not have the authority to trespass her area of study, Jiddah, alone (Altorki, 1994). Moreover, she could barely interact with men, yet they could have been a reliable source of data. It was a challenge to me that some communities still pay keen attention to the demands of their culture regardless of their literacy levels. In the modern days, modernization has rendered some cultural values obsolete, and most people do not allow the demands of their traditions to dictate their actions. The researcher reminded me that some people remain committed to their cultural values, and will not let anything, not even education to corrode their high cultural morals.

The article has enlightened me about the advantages of conducting a field study at one’s place of origin. For example, no need to produce a research permit, and the respondents are willing to provide you with data because they know you personally (Altorki, 1994). However, I also found limitations in choosing my home area as my study region. For example, the local populations might not take me seriously and thus provide me with biased data. Moreover, some may use the interaction as the avenue to probe into my private life. Society expects us to behave in a particular manner, for instance, get married at a certain age. If we defy these expectations, the community sees some faults in us.

I thus concluded that conducting a research study using population samples of people from your neighborhood could lead to the collection of unreliable data. For instance, once they judge you as an escapist from the societal norms, they will be less cooperative. Moreover, if they intrude into your personal life, chances of being unprofessional are high (Hammer, 2000). For instance, one can become tempted to be rude to the society members who ask endless questions about one’s personal affairs such as why at my age I have not settled down in marriage.

One great insights gained from this study is the significance to demonstrate cultural competency while undertaking a field study. When a researcher illustrates that they understand and conform to the cultural values of the surrounding, they receive a warm reception because the locals see them as respectful beings. The author demonstrated her value for the Saudi Arabia culture despite having lived abroad for many years. Such a trait worked to her advantage as the locals became cooperative (Altorki, 1994).



Altorki, S. (1994). At Home in the Field. Etnofoor, (1), 53-71.

Hammer, D. P. (2000). Professional attitudes and behaviors: the” A’s and B’s” of professionalism. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 64(4), 455

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