My life after death: connecting the field, the findings and the feelings


  • Kate Woodthorpe University of Sheffield



This paper is an account of an emotional journey that took place alongside an ethnographic study of the contemporary cemetery landscape. It seeks to highlight the importance of conducting empirical research as a 'rite of passage', leading to the role of a researcher, by examining the connection between data, the human researcher, and the analysis. Furthermore, this paper argues that the emotionality of the research process needs to be incorporated into discussions of methodology and analysis to enable researchers to produce high-quality social research.

Author Biography

Kate Woodthorpe, University of Sheffield

Kate Woodthorpe is in the final stages of her ESRC studentship in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield, under the principal supervision of Professor Jenny Hockey. Her doctoral project is seeking to examine how different groups of people perceive the cemetery landscape and how conflicts are negotiated, in light of current conservation priorities. She can be contacted at at K.Woodthorpe(AT)