Buy That Stamp! Letter Writing and Amish Research: A Personal Reflection on a Research Technique
Keywords:research methods, Amish schools, Amish women, correspondance, weddings
Letter writing is one method researchers can use to build on their in-person fieldwork experience. Through letters, a researcher can approach the Amish in a way that equalizes the exchange, allowing the correspondent the time and space to consider their responses. Moreover, while a visit from a non-Amish researcher interrupts daily activity, reading and writing letters remains a daily activity in the Amish world, especially among Amish women. Researchers may find that correspondence opens new areas of inquiry as Amish writers make connections to topics and subjects the researcher had not considered. By revealing deeper aspects of daily life, correspondence can force researchers to rethink their stereotypes and assumptions. Finally, the author reflects on some of the challenges of correspondence as a research method.
Copyright (c) 2023 Karen M. Johnson-Weiner
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