The University of Wisconsin Press

Anthropology / Sociology / Eastern European Studies


Fieldwork Dilemmas
Anthropologists in Postsocialist States
Edited by Hermine G. De Soto and Nora Dudwick

"An essential handbook for new field research in the postsocialist world."— Bruce Grant, Swarthmore College

In Fieldwork Dilemmas ten anthropologists disclose the political and physical dangers inherent in field research. Focusing on former socialist states, they vividly depict the upheavals of everyday life in eastern Europe, revealing how their informants and the communities in which they live undergo political and economic dislocations, plummeting living standards, emerging gender inequalities, and ethnic and nationalist violence.

Reports from Armenia, Bulgaria, eastern Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, and Uzbekistan show how fieldworkers struggle to reconcile previous experiences with postsocialist stereotypes about Soviet culture, the West, and the effects of the penetration of capitalism into noncapitalist societies. These fieldwork dilemmas are analyzed by anthropologists who are learning to position themselves professionally and personally in the field under often unstable, unpredictable situations. This volume will interest not only anthropologists but fieldworkers of all kinds, and not only scholars of eastern Europe but all those who study rapid societal changes.

"Fieldwork Dilemmas continues an ongoing discussion about the character and problems of field research for ethnographers and adds to it by identifying the particular problems faced by those working in so-called postsocialist societies where change has been dramatic and at times devastating."—Caroline B. Brettell, author of We Have Already Cried Many Tears: The Stories of Three Portuguese Migrant Women

Hermine G. De Soto is a staff anthropologist at the World Bank. She is the editor of Culture and Contradiction: Dialectics of Wealth, Power, and Symbol and co-editor of The Curtain Rises: Rethinking Culture, Ideology, and the State in Eastern Europe. Nora Dudwick is a staff anthropologist at the World Bank, where she focuses on issues of poverty and social development in postsocialist countries. She has contributed to several books, including Post-Soviet Women: From the Baltic to Central Asia.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

September 2000
288 pp.    6 x 9
20 b/w photos,1 map

Book icon
Paper $22.95 s
ISBN 978-
Shopping cart ADD TO CART


Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.
E-mail: or by phone at 608-263-0733.

Updated July 28, 2010

© 2010, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System