Nice to meet you: Encountering introductions and departures in the field

Jamie Gillen*, Tuan Anh Nguyen, Jonathan Rigg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


This paper advocates for a clearer understanding of the politics of introductions and partings in fieldwork by engaging with the geographical literature on the encounter. Conducting research with people in the field presents investigators with unfamiliar and confusing cultural rituals involving how to present oneself, what to say, and how to physically interact with respondents on meeting them for the first time. This is also true during the moments when bidding farewell to our research participants. These encounters are more than reflections of different manners and understandings of politeness: in this paper we use field research in Vietnam to argue that the first and last impressions of fieldwork must be separated conceptually from other parts of the experience and evaluated as distinctively important encounters in geographer–respondent relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-778
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Early online date3 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2019


  • departures
  • encounter
  • fieldwork
  • introductions
  • Vietnam


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