This summer GS student Richard Adams conducted fieldwork in Bangkok, Thailand, studying the everyday life of migrant construction workers as a recipient of the Ella Deloria Undergraduate Research Fellowship through the Columbia Department of Anthropology.
“In my fieldwork I focused on an examination of the disparities between popular cultural representations of migrancy and the countryside and the role in Thai society that these workers actually see themselves playing,” Richard said.
"My idea of fieldwork was quickly changed. The fact that I speak Thai made it easier for me to be welcomed into the lives of the people I focused on, and soon I had become part of a group that ate and drank together, went out to these makeshift karaoke clubs, and just generally hung out together. As I was looking at their lives, they were watching me to see if I could eat the same level of spicy food as they do and, most of all, if I would join them in eating their favorite snackfood: fried crickets."
Offered by the Columbia Department of Anthropology, the Ella Deloria Undergraduate Research Fellowship funds selected anthropology majors who undertake ethnographic research during the summer in preparation for a senior thesis.
Additional information about the Deloria Fellowship is available on the Anthropology Dept. website.