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Déjà vu et jamais vu: What happens when the field expands in ways that mean there is no exit?

Mannay, Dawn ORCID: 2023. Déjà vu et jamais vu: What happens when the field expands in ways that mean there is no exit? Smith, Robin and Delamont, Sara, eds. Leaving the Field: Methodological Insights from Ethnographic Exits, Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 113-125.

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Ethnographic and qualitative researchers often have concerns about how best to leave the field and bring an end to the relationships they have forged with participants and communities. However, in some cases the field expands, and the researcher moves from being a novice at the periphery to become a full participant within the networked relationality of a community of practice. This chapter explores this experience of becoming fixed within the field. Reflecting on a study conducted in 2015 with care experienced children and young people in Wales, UK, an ongoing journey of increasing nearness, rather than increasing distance is considered. The original study led to an intensive period of impact activities and further consultations and research, within a field of young people in care, care leavers and partner organisations, in which the researcher became more immersed and gained an ongoing sense of permanency. In thinking through this position of ‘no exit’ the chapter draws on the concepts of déjà vu and jamais vu. Déjà vu, already seen, occurs when one feels as though a situation is familiar, despite evidence that the situation could not have been experienced before, often resulting from familiarity-based recognition, or recognition that is based on feelings of familiarity that occur without identification of their source. Jamais vu, never seen, is the opposite of déjà vu, as instead of feeling extra familiar, things seem totally unfamiliar and there is too little connection between long-term memory and perceptions from the present. In becoming more than native and embedded in the emotion, policy, practice and mediation of care experiences, the chapter presents encounters and relationships with partners and young people that generated feelings of déjà vu and jamais vu through the complexities of familiarity, shifting positionalities and self-contained worlds of common understanding.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: Care-experienced young people; déjà vu; familiarity; emotion-work; extended field; Jamais vu; leaving the field; positionality; presentation of self; research impact agenda
Publisher: Manchester University Press
ISBN: 9781526157652
Date of Acceptance: 21 November 2022
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 15:14

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