Reflections from Cross-Gender Fieldwork Experiences in Open Markets in Ghana

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Sowatey, Emmanuel A  ORCID logo
Nyantakyi-Frimpong, Hanson 
Hussey, Lucia K 
Annan-Aggrey, Eunice  ORCID logo
Pinkrah, Ama 

jats:pFieldwork can be an enjoyable academic adventure producing lifelong experiences of excitement and a sense of academic accomplishment. However, it can be an equally frustrating undertaking, especially when carried out in ‘unfamiliar’ environments. This paper adds to the growing number of studies about fieldworkers’ experiences by reflecting on the complexities involved in the process and proffering ways to respond to them. We share our perspectives as three adult African males conducting research in a predominantly female space in two informal markets in Accra, Ghana. To do this, we engage with five issues related to fieldwork: preparing to enter the field; negotiating access; handling interviews; dealing with ethical dilemmas; and exiting the field. We found that being male is not a barrier to conducting research in a predominantly female space. The success of our fieldwork was a product of our ability to adapt, be creative, appreciate our inadequacies, learn quickly and also take some practical and common-sense steps. Our hope is that the insights shared in this paper will serve as a compass for prospective fieldworkers.</jats:p>

4404 Development Studies, 44 Human Society
Journal Title
International Journal of Qualitative Methods
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SAGE Publications
Embargo: ends 2021-10-29