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Field Guide for Research in Community Settings

Tools, Methods, Challenges and Strategies

Edited by M. R. Islam, Niaz A. Khan, Siti H.A.B. Ah, Haris A. Wahab and Mashitah B. Hamidi

This insightful book offers practical advice to fieldworkers in social research, enabling robust and judicious applications of research methods and techniques in data collection. It also outlines data collection challenges that are commonly faced when working in the field.
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M. Rezaul Islam, Niaz Ahmed Khan, Siti Hajar Abu Bakar Ah, Haris Abd Wahab and Mashitah Binti Hamidi

Fieldwork/data collection is one of the most important parts in the research process, and it is particularly important for social sciences research. A number of aspects that need to be considered by a researcher before starting data collection include: ethical permission from the concerned ethical body/committee, informed consent, contract with different stakeholders, field settings, time allocation and time management, field leading, data collection, contextual and cultural diversities, community settings, socioeconomic and psychological patterns of the community, political pattern, rapport building between data collectors and respondents, permission to access community, language and mode of data collection, power relations, role of gatekeepers, privacy and confidentiality issues, layers of expectations among researchers/respondents/ funding organization, data recording (written, memorization, voice recording and video recording), and so on. Many aspects are very difficult to understand before going into the field. Sometimes, a researcher’s previous experience about a particular community may help to gain field access, but it may be difficult to assess the field in advance due to rapid changes within people’s livelihoods and other shifts in the community. The change of a political paradigm sometimes seems also to be a challenge at the field level. We believe that although technological innovation has benefited some aspects of the data collection of fieldwork in social research, many other dimensions (mentioned above) of fieldwork endure unchanged.

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Ageing in Place

Design, Planning and Policy Response in the Western Asia-Pacific

Edited by Bruce Judd, Kenichi Tanoue and Edgar Liu

This insightful book showcases a range of design, planning and policy responses to ageing populations and the built environment from across the rapidly changing and dynamic Western Asia-Pacific region. Its chapters demonstrate a clear and increasingly convergent preference for and promotion of ageing in place and the need for collaborative efforts to facilitate this at various scales through policy and practice.
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From Eco-Cities to Sustainable City-Regions

China’s Uncertain Quest for an Ecological Civilization

Ernest J. Yanarella and Richard S. Levine

A political scientist and an urban architect explore China’s odyssey to become an ecological civilization and transform its massive, unsustainable, urbanization process into one that creates hundreds of eco-cities. The resulting From Eco-Cities to Sustainable City-Regions is the first book-length study combining analysis of politics and power, urban design and planning issues derived from the co-authors’ interdisciplinary research, and on-site fieldwork from their political science and architectural area specialties.
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Ernest J. Yanarella and Richard S. Levine

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Smart Cities in Asia

Governing Development in the Era of Hyper-Connectivity

Edited by Yu-Min Joo and Teck-Boon Tan

At a time when Asia is rapidly growing in global influence, this much-needed and insightful book bridges two major current policy topics in order to offer a unique study of the latest smart city archetypes emerging throughout Asia. Highlighting the smart city aspirations of Asian countries and their role in Asian governments’ new development strategies, this book draws out timely narratives and insights from a uniquely Asian context and policymaking space.
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Edited by Ray Yep, June Wang and Thomas Johnson

The trajectory and logic of urban development in post-Mao China have been shaped and defined by the contention between domestic and global capital, central and local state and social actors of different class status and endowment. This urban transformation process of historic proportion entails new rules for distribution and negotiation, novel perceptions of citizenship, as well as room for unprecedented spontaneity and creativity. Based on original research by leading experts, this book offers an updated and nuanced analysis of the new logic of urban governance and its implications.
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Ray Yep, June Wang and Thomas Johnson

Urban China has undergone seismic change in its physical and socioeconomic landscape over the last four decades. Urban life in Mao’s China was simply an extension of the regime’s faith in the superiority of teleological planning, and Chinese cities were given a central role in the socialist industrialization programme. All aspects of urban existence were organized along the imperative of production. Urban architectural landscapes were characterized by buildings of monotonous design and prosaic outlook. The ethos of egalitarianism inherent in Soviet practices and the functionality logic of Le Corbusier’s modernist principles of design determined the allocation of space. Scarcity was permanent, with the rationing system effectively restricting personal consumption to subsistence level, lest excessive personal indulgence misappropriate resources for unproductive purposes and thus decelerate the pace of the industrialization programme. Urban life was in general highly organized, disciplined and mundane, with expression of individuality severely circumscribed by politics and material conditions. Yet most urban dwellers probably felt blessed with their ‘privilege’ of residing in the cities, aware as they were of the deprivation and desperation of the Chinese peasantry. The concomitant operation of centralized control over employment through the work unit system (danwei) and the unified job allocation arrangement, and the effective regulation of personal movement through the residential permit system (hukou), powerfully sustained the impermeability of the rural-urban divide.