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Research Methods

In this project we used some innovative approaches to gathering data. The overarching approach to data gathering was, in keeping with social anthropology research methods, an ethnographic approach. In this project we used ethnographic data gathered in different countries (East Anglia, Mexico, Mongolia and Alaska) and so we were able to use our data in a comparative manner.

Some of the most useful research methods that we used involved inviting children to take us on walks around their local villages and dwelling places; and asking them to talk to us about their memories of living in those places. Some of these data are available on the database, written up by the researchers, hence an interpretation of the children’s articulations.   

We also worked with artists and archaeologists to explore the children’s localities further; these investigations were inspired by the kinds of things the children told us about on their walks. Other investigations involved visiting local museum (The Ely Museum), bringing storyteller (Marion Leeper), writer (Tom Moorhouse) and poet (Mend-Ooyo Gombojav) into schools and building dens from scrap materials.

Another method that we used involved setting up links between schools in the UK and schools abroad. This included masterclasses, video conference interchanges, letter writing and some teacher visits.   



Cambridge Interdisciplinary Research on the Environment is a group that was initiated following a successful AHRC Network grant within Social Anthropology which created an interdisciplingary netwook on Climate Histories. Following the success of this network an interdisciplinary seminar series was funded by CRASSH from 2011–2016 to continue work on this theme. This series was co-convened by the Departments of Social Anthropology, Geography, and the Engineering Department's Centre for Sustainable Development.

The series brought together people from a range of academic and non-academic backgrounds including the sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences, and those working within policy, industry, activism, education, and media and continues as an occasional series hosted at the Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit.

The connections and networks made through the discussions in this series formed the backdrop against which some funding bids were developed and the projects that resulted are also featured on this site.