STEP BY STEP
Social fieldwork is about going out on the street to do research to improve local decisions. It’s about talking to people where they are at. Then, its about making logical thematic conclusions which are shared back for feedback and eventual consensus in a community.
Our definition of community engagement or public involvement is to focus on social fieldwork in a two step iterative cycle.
First, it is about doing the Research and second, then the talking about it, making sense of it, creating recommendations. These recommendations may take many form including establishing a community consensus on indicators for a baseline of wellness or quality of life. The times demand we get much more clear about what is real and authentic in our lives. It is no longer about numbers, it is about deep rich stories, narrative and description.
Social fieldwork is about people empowered to do their own research and then talk about the results, make sense of it, figure out implications, coordinate action. But rather than responding to a crisis, we need to do this kind of research as a baseline to understand ourselves and be better prepared if an outside threat occurs. This way, we have a way to say no clearly and why. It’ll help.
In more detail:
( 1 ) To do social fieldwork, you go out into the landscape or community and talk with people or help people talk together.
( 2 ) You gather up words, visuals and sound to describe our experience. You take notes and tell stories.
( 3 ) You might gather materials of the community or the natural world to better tell your story. You can make recordings or even create art.
People need to benefit from all the insights gained about great communication in groups, listening and nominal group decision making.
( 4 ) You’ll want to If you are telling the story of someone or a community, you check back with those in the story to make sure you have it right.
( 5 ) Get togethers after the community picnic? Or finding time in an evening each week? Or a group that meets every Sunday at end of day. You could get together, ollect information and talking about that information in community groups
( 6 ) You can take photos or film videos to explain the sociocultural attributes that sustain quality of life. How can you best portray in the words of local people their stories and how they measure happiness as a community and in their landscape?
( 7 ) If this work is for the purposes of community planning or an Environmental Impact Statement, it would next be critical to ensure that summaries are codified succinctly and cross-checked with other researchers to ensure a neutral representative voice.
This document is a working draft. Pardon our mess.