Data Collection With Indigenous People: Fieldwork Experiences From Chile

Ana Figueiredo, Carolina Rocha, Pietro Montagna

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    At present, the Mapuche are the largest indigenous group living in Chile and, up until the present day, they are considered a disadvantaged group in Chilean society in terms of poverty, education and discrimination indicators. In recent decades, this group has been involved in a violent conflict with the Chilean state, forestry and hydroelectric industries and big landowners due mainly to territorial claims of the ancestral land that is currently inhabited and exploited by these different actors. In the present chapter, we narrate the process of data collection with indigenous participants within the framework of a three-year long project about representations of history and present-day intergroup relations between the Mapuche and the non-indigenous majority in Chile. We focus on the challenges that data collection involved by highlighting the process of participant recruitment and trust issues revolving around data collection, as well as retribution practices. Moreover, we also highlight the pros and cons of having non-indigenous Chilean and international researchers conducting fieldwork in this context. Another aspect we address is how methodological approaches may influence the data quality and participants’ degree of involvement with the project, by highlighting how these issues interconnect with cultural differences and this indigenous group’s worldview and cultural practices. We hope this chapter may provide significant insights on how to deal with some of the difficulties that data collection with indigenous people may involve.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationResearching Peace, Conflict, and Power in the Field
    Subtitle of host publicationMethodological Challenges and Opportunities
    EditorsYasemin Gülsüm Acar, Sigrun Marie Moss, Özden Melis Uluğ
    Place of PublicationCham
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030441135
    ISBN (Print)9783030441128, 9783030441159
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2020

    Publication series

    NamePeace Psychology Book Series (PPBS)
    ISSN (Print)2197-5779
    ISSN (Electronic)2197-5787


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