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A 'balikbayan' in the field: scaling and (re)producing insider's identity in a Philippine fishing community

Turgo, Nelson ORCID: 2012. A 'balikbayan' in the field: scaling and (re)producing insider's identity in a Philippine fishing community. Qualitative Research 12 (6) , pp. 666-685. 10.1177/1468794111433006

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Insider researchers are often construed as having an easy time in the field, with their stay in fieldwork sites less demanding than their outsider counterparts. In some ways, this is true, with less efforts to know the place, its people and history, and master the idioms of everyday life. But being an insider researcher could prove challenging in a place that ascribes a particular salience to a specific identity like ‘balikbayan’, a Filipino word for a native who has either lived or worked abroad for a number of years and returns home for a visit. Based on an empirical ethnographic study of a fishing community in the Philippines, I argue that insider researchers in developing economies like the Philippines are faced with more challenges pertaining to their newly acquired status identity as returning natives in the context of their ability to be mobile and jump scales – from local to national and global – and the economic and symbolic appurtenances, among many, attached to it. Thus, in the context of their status identity, insider researchers’ social reproduction in the field must be attended to in order to further understand the ways in which informants make sense of their place in the world and agency over the conduct of and their involvement in research of homecoming native researchers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Additional Information: Published online: 11/5/12.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1468-7941
Date of Acceptance: 21 December 2011
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 09:56

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