Translating Faith: Field Narratives as a Means of Dialogue in Collaborative Ethnographic Research

Eve Gregory, Vally Lytra, Arani Ilankuberan, Halimun Choudhury, Malgorzata Woodham


This article presents research from a collaborative ethnography in four faith settings in London, UK. In particular, we show how a group of researchers from diverse cultures teach and learn from each other through the use of field narratives. After outlining a sociocultural approach to learning and discussing how faith situates itself within this frame, we show ways in which field narratives provide a bridge between the past, present, and future of cultural events and practices and allow a polyphonic gaze by different researchers describing the same setting. We show how researchers learn to reflect upon their own research site, compare it with those of others, and, ultimately, become more aware of their own. This process is iterative and dialogic, which enriches not only the knowledge of the researchers themselves but also provides a mosaic of different interpretations to a wider interested audience.

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