methodologies, especially in-depth observation) has recently come under strong scrutiny given the ethical, methodological and substantive challenges in its recent implementation. Studying survival behavior of extremely vulnerable populations using ethnographic methods presents different issues to the examination of activist strategies of transnational social movements. In this talk, I share my experience studying transnational environmental non-governmental organizations’ mobilization strategies and compare it with my recent analyses of informal waste pickers’ strategic choices across a broad range of Latin American and European countries. In the talk, I address both the substantive issues of undertaking comparative public policy studies across different target populations, and the peculiarities of fieldwork in two very different environments. I draw some preliminary conclusions on what we can learn about ethnographic methodology and how we can address the ethical issues within deep ethnography.