Het zakenevenement als veldwerkplek?
Number of pages
SourceKwalon: Tijdschrift voor Kwalitatief Onderzoek in Nederland, 24, 3, (2019), pp. 12-18
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Kwalon: Tijdschrift voor Kwalitatief Onderzoek in Nederland
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
Business event as fieldwork site? A major methodological problem in the ethnographic study of international business elites is to make visible the social relations they draw and depend on. Business elites constitute a highly mobile social category and they mediate a growing portion of everyday social interaction via online, digital means. They are elusive, therefore, and that compromises the possibility of making direct observations of their social practices, which erodes the scope to ethnographically study this important group in the world economy. The essay shows how fieldwork on business events, such as conferences, expositions, and trade fairs, can help to overcome this problem. Such events constitute focal points and moments of crystallization in globally operating social networks, making visible a part of the international business 'theatre' that normally lags hidden. By presenting excerpts from recent fieldwork carried out in Belgium, Greece and the Netherlands, I give an impression of observables in this theatre, aiming especially at fostering an awareness of social behavior 'backstage' with a view to formulating further questions. The essay concludes with a plea to include business events as 'field schools' in study programs looking at international business elites, such as business schools and/or business economics.
Upload full text