Doing Fieldwork at Home: Studying Health in Rural Kenya

As a student, doing fieldwork at home is one of the most puzzling yet gratifying undertakings. From an outsider’s perspective, your identity and sense of belonging presents unadulterated access to local knowledge sources. For insiders, the notion of ethnographic research by one of their own; sons, brother, uncle and/or cousin, is mind-boggling. Claims of identity and belonging presumes that, what you are looking into is obvious; can you not see? Have you not heard? Do you really need to interact at different levels yet all this is common knowledge? Are you a stranger to the prevailing circumstances of the locals? These questions and many more emerge as one tries to gain access to the field at home.