A Quick Reflection on my Research in Morocco by Andrew Nassar

by tuftsigl
Jul 06

             As I sit down to transcribe interviews and comb through government labor statistics, I’m beginning to notice the ways in which my project will be different and stronger because of in-country research. For all of the papers and “research” papers I’ve written in college, they haven’t involved travel (except for trekking to the library in feet of snow!), and I think that this project on Morocco is more than just a literature review of what books I can find in the library or which articles I can read online. I’m grateful to have had the chance to visit the country that I am trying to write about.

             Although I’m writing about economic conditions, which have been clearly (usually not clearly) articulated in textbooks and journal articles, they are not enough. Even the work that has been done in Morocco, studying some of same indicators I am (unemployment, education, etc.) is insightful and helpful, especially since I am still a student early in academia, but for me to write about Morocco, I need to know more than a few paragraphs or pages about the country. I conducted interviews with experts in Morocco, but I think the most helpful part of the trip was being able to experience the economy I am trying to articulate.

             Sure, I can study about the characteristics of informal economies, the structure of Moroccan universities, and the emerging sectors in industry, but to walk around night markets, interview local professors, and to see solar plants and car plants is much more powerful than any journal article.

             I am indebted to the IGL for giving me a chance to conduct research on the ground, and now that I’m back in the States, I am eager to see how my personal interactions and experiences will provide clarity for my research.

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