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Why Sources ? Empirical Rigour, Reflexivity, and Archiving in the Social Sciences and Humanities in African Studies

Abstract : Sources: Materials & Fieldwork in African Studies has taken on a novel mission for a social sciences and humanities journal: to place field materials at the heart of the analysis. The journal aims to consider the empirical objects researchers produce—and more often co-produce—in their particular investigative context and using specific methods that facilitate theory-building. These materials are very diverse in nature. They may be public or private archives; old or recent; retrieved in libraries or collected in the field. They may comprise local writing (notebooks, letters, diaries, autobiographies, tracts, pamphlets, religious writings, etc.); excerpts from interviews, conversations, and life stories; notes, particularly from participant observation; maps, diagrams, and sketches by researchers or their interlocutors; knick-knacks, museum exhibits, and regalia; election posters, clothing, and campaign songs; photographs, films, audio and video recordings; excerpts from “grey” literature (reports, evaluations) and newspapers; data from the Internet and social media networks. Examples abound: always relating to an object of study, the research questions that are being developed and re-developed in relation to it, and the research conditions at the time.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - 10:12:20 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:06:57 AM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-02863918, version 2


Marie-Aude Fouéré, Ophélie Rillon, Marie-Emmanuelle Pommerolle. Why Sources ? Empirical Rigour, Reflexivity, and Archiving in the Social Sciences and Humanities in African Studies. Sources. Material & Fieldwork in African Studies, IFRA Nairobi, 2020, pp.23-42. ⟨halshs-02863918v2⟩



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