Doing fieldwork in Eastern Europe: fieldwork made easier


  • Fran Deans University College London



This paper explores how the post-communist setting of my fieldwork in a Hungarian Romany settlement aided, rather than hindered, my research. Far from finding distrustful and unstable communities and institutions in post-communist Hungary, I was assisted and encouraged in my research by the supportive and open attitudes of the Romany community members and civil society actors with whom I worked. Additionally, the communist records stored in Budapest archives provided detailed data that textured and contextualised my fieldwork. With sensitive fieldwork methods, Eastern Europe is as accessible and welcoming an environment as any anthropologist could hope to find!

Author Biography

Fran Deans, University College London

Fran Deans was awarded a doctorate from University College London for her thesis 'Culture, community and enterprise in a Hungarian Romany settlement' (2004). She now works as a researcher for the International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC) in Oxford where she continues to be involved in the fields of Roma rights and civil society. She can be contacted at frandeans(AT)