AskDefine | Define fieldwork

Dictionary Definition

fieldwork n : a temporary fortification built by troops in the field

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. work done, or observations made out in the real world rather than in controlled conditions
    • I thought the fieldwork in the course I was taking was going to be hard, but it was just interviewing people.
    • That well Bob set up last weekend was some good fieldwork.
  2. A temporary fortification built by troops
    • Billy's out building some fieldwork so that our enemies don't walk right over us.

Extensive Definition

This article is about the scientific method. For the military term, see Field fortifications under Fortification.
Field work is a general descriptive term for the collection of raw data. The term is mainly used in the natural and social sciences studies, such as in biology, ecology, environmental science, geology, geography, geophysics, paleontology, archaeology, anthropology, ethnomusicology, linguistics, and sociology, although it is also used in other subjects, such as in auditing. It is more technically known to scientific methodologists as field research.
Field work, which is conducted in situ, can be contrasted with laboratory or experimental research which is conducted in a quasi-controlled environment. In survey research, field work refers to face-to-face or telephone interviewing.
The interviewing or observation of people to learn their languages, folklore, and social structures constitutes field work. Especially when humans themselves are the subject of study, protocols must be devised to reduce the risk of observer bias and the acquisition of too theoretical or idealized explanations of the actual workings of a culture.

External links

fieldwork in Danish: Feltarbejde
fieldwork in German: Feldforschung
fieldwork in Spanish: Trabajo de campo
fieldwork in French: Terrain (anthropologie)
fieldwork in Hebrew: עבודת שדה
fieldwork in Japanese: フィールドワーク
fieldwork in Chinese: 田野調查
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