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'Sleeping on the job': where qualitative fieldwork meets the sociology of sleep

Gilliat-Ray, Sophie 2020. 'Sleeping on the job': where qualitative fieldwork meets the sociology of sleep. Qualitative Research 10.1177/1468794120917050

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Abstract

This article examines the question of sleeping (or not) during the course of ethnographic fieldwork. It is argued that the concept of what is termed here ‘sleepwork’ has yet to be fully addressed or adequately problematised in the fields of sociology and social anthropology, in particular. The first part of the article highlights the relative silence about sleeping and fieldwork in the literature on qualitative research methods, and reflects upon why this subject is largely absent from the ethnographic corpus. I then make a number of propositions about some potential methodological strategies for incorporating ‘sleepwork’ into fieldwork. The second part of the article suggests that data analysis should not be seen as an activity that only occurs in states of wakefulness, but rather as a 24/7 activity that is undertaken with varying intensity. Keywords Sleep, sleeping, fieldwork, dreaming, data analysis, hypnagogia, ethnography, sleepwork, reflexivity

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1468-7941
Funders: N/A
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 1 June 2020
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2020 13:23
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/135531

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