Methodological Issues in Social Research: Some Personal Accounts of ‘Fieldwork’

Nasir Uddin's picture
Call for Papers
July 30, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Area Studies, Social Sciences, Sociology, Research and Methodology

Tentative Title

Methodological Issues in Social Research: Some Personal Accounts of ‘Fieldwork’

Edited by Nasir Uddin & Alak Paul

Concept Note

The book envelops some personal accounts of researchers who have done intensive, comprehensive and ethnographic fieldworks in various social settings and versatile regional contexts across the globe covering South Asia, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southern Africa, and Middle Eastern countries. Since personal experience holds collective importance and academic significance, the collection of field-experience of a galaxy of scholars across disciplines and regions enables to contribute a distinctive framework to the existing body of scholarship on the social research methodologies.  

Social research involves researcher's personal engagement, interpersonal attachment, and impersonal affection in dealing with persons; the object of study. Hence, it reflects researcher’s personal, political, social, cultural and emotional holdings being developed and formed throughout researcher’s socialization, and socio-cultural upbringings across time and space. Consequently, social research is not simply a typical ‘academic practice’ that follows an innocent ‘professional genre’ and ‘research rituals’; rather it heavily entangles with researcher’s lived experiences of dealing with the object of research, which define and redefine the tools, techniques, notions and application of methodologies in a particular social setting on the one hand.  Amidst researcher’s series of engagement and reengagement in the ‘rites of passage’ of research on the other hand, methodology takes its own shape which substantially contributes to established practices of doing social research with renewed interpretation, transient experiments, and upcoming challenges in research methodology. Since social research takes on pains & pleasures, problems & potentials, challenges & solutions, and hard & soft memories, personal experience becomes an indispensable part of supposedly impersonal fieldwork. Therefore every research context in the field provides a distinctive and unique experience and understanding which at the end enriches the established genus of social research methodologies.

The book intends to accommodate some personal accounts of doing fieldwork in social research in challenging social contexts of some well-trained academic and professional researchers having diversified disciplinary backgrounds including sociology, anthropology, political sciences, geography, law, area studies and so on. Experiences of doing intensive fieldwork in different geographical locales on various topics and with newer methodological tools could provide a comprehensive and distinctive framework of social research in contemporary academia and research field being enabled to refine, and give a fine-tune to, the social research methodologies for the time to come.


Short Biography of the Editors

Nasir Uddin (PhD) is a cultural anthropologist based in Bangladesh, and Professor of Anthropology at Chittagong University. Uddin studied and carried out research at the University of Oxford (UK), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University (UK), the London School of Economics (LSE) at London University (UK), Heidelberg University (Germany), VU University Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany), Delhi School of Economics at Delhi University (India), the University of Hull (UK), Kyoto University (Japan), and the University of Dhaka (Bangladesh). He has achieved a good number of prestigious awards and fellowships including the MEXT Scholarship, the British Academy Visiting Scholarship, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship, a Visiting Scholarship at LSE and a Visiting Fellowship at Oxford University. He has published scholarly pieces extensively with globally leading publishing houses including the Cambridge University Press, the Oxford University Press, the University of Pennsylvania Press, Routledge, SAGE, Springer, Palgrave McMillan, Berghahn, Bloomsbury, Orient BlackSwan and so on. His latest edited books include “Life in Peace and Conflict: Indigeneity and the State in the Chittagong Hill Tracts” (Orient BlackSwan, 2017), “Indigeneity on the Move: Varying Manifestation of a Contested Concept” (Berghahn, 2017 [co-edited with Eva Gerharz and Pradeep Chakkarath]) and “Deterritorialised Identity and Transborder Movement in South Asia” (Springer, 2019 [co-edited with Nasreen Chowdhory]). His latest book is “The Rohingya: An Ethnography of ‘Subhuman’ Life” (The Oxford University Press, 2020).


Alak Paul (PhD) is a Professor of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh. He received his MSc from Dhaka University, Bangladesh (Geography and Environment) in 1999 and PhD from University of Durham, UK (Human Geography) in 2009. Being an empirical geographer, his research and teaching interest spans over public health; society and environment; disaster management etc. using mostly qualitative and ethnographic approach. Paul gives emphasis on marginalized and stigmatized people to his studies and looks at the everyday geographies of various vulnerable people where he establishes how geographic space or place play a role in (re)shaping the life of people or environment. He has over 40 peer-reviewed research publications including some in top international journals like Applied Geography, PLoS ONE, Public Health, Exposure and Health, Environmental Science and Technology, Coastal Management, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening etc. About seven book chapters on different geographic aspects and four authored and/or edited books have been published from both at home and  in abroad to his credit. Very recently, Routledge published his co-edited book titled Geography in Bangladesh: Concepts Methods and Applications in 2019. A forthcoming book titled HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh: Stigmatized People, Policy and Place (2020) will be published from Springer Nature as Global Perspective on Health Geography Series. Paul was awarded for various scholarship and fellowships in the last 20 yeas for his teaching and research. 



1. Submission (an abstract: 300 words and bio-note: 150 words): by July 30, 2020.

2. Final paper is due by October 30, 2020 (3 months)

3. First round of editorial review by December 30, 2020 (2 months)

4. Submission to the publisher: February 28, 2021 (2 months)


Publisher (any one of the followings):

Palgrave Macmillan, SAGE, Routledge  

Expected Publishing Time: October, 2021.


Please send your abstract by July 30, 2020 to:

Professor Nasir Uddin:

Professor Alak Paul:

Contact Info: 

Professor Nasir Uddin, Department of Anthropology, University of Chittagong, Chittatong-4331, Bangladesh

Contact Email: