Activism at the Olympics: challenges of preparing ethnographic fieldwork in a far away land

Adam Talbot

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


This paper will discuss the methodological approach I will be taking to study social movements protesting at the Olympic Games. This will involve a year-long period of ethnographic fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro. The practical difficulties of planning this within the framework of PhD programme, which places further demands on time, will be explored. Various reasons for using an ethnographic approach will also be discussed, considering both theoretical justification and personal desires. I will also touch on some of the practical and ethical challenges for using this research method; the process of acquiring a visa for Brazil, for example, has been tortuous, as has the ethical approval process. The practical and theoretical difficulties of conducting research in a second language and of using translators in interviews will also be explored. These issues combine to suggest that doing a year-long period of fieldwork, particularly abroad, is becoming less and less feasible for PhD students given the other commitments we face. This is particularly worrying because PhD students are some of the only members of the academic community who are able to undertake projects of this nature.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventBSA Sport Study Group Postgraduate Forum - Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sep 20154 Sep 2015


ConferenceBSA Sport Study Group Postgraduate Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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