This Week in Ethnography: Blog, “LivingEthnography”

This Week in Ethnography I found an interesting blog entitled,

LIVING ETHNOGRAPHY: Research and Conversations on Ethnography, Writing and Folklore

As personal blogs go, it’s more productive than most and the content is appealing.  The About page is interesting in that it provides a few hints at the authors identity but no name:

I am a Folklorist, writer and ethnographer; I study immigration, communities and change.  My current academic book project, Diversity Dependence: Suburban Identity and the Quest for a Multicultural Ideal examines three locations where immigrants and newcomers fundamentally influence political dynamics  and identity.  I am also completing a novel, The Unfinished.

I did finally figured out who the author was but not without a little work! Are you enticed yet?….

What initially caught my attention was a posting entitled, “The New El Norte: Canada” where the author discusses a new immigration trend in North America.

I lived in Mexico on and off from 1999 through 2005.  Working with immigrants traveling back and forth to Pennsylvania, we spend a lot of time talking about the broken U.S. immigration system and the difficulties workers faced when crossing into the U.S.

Back then I asked a question that seemed far-fetched: why not go to work in Canada?  Their immigration laws were certainly more flexible.

The responses were consistently the same: “it’s too cold” or “I don’t know anyone in Canada.”  I already knew that most immigrants followed their networks north–one person would find and setting in a new area, then travel back to Mexico and share the cultural knowledge with family, friends and neighbors who in turn would start to join the “pioneer” migrant in the new locale.  Migrant patterns are enduring, but they are not unchanging.  This article from the Washington Post highlights how a model guest worker program in Canada is making a new El Norte.

For years I have argued that the U.S. needs a revised guest worker program. Many of my colleagues scoff at the idea, thinking that our H2-A visa program, which links agricultural workers to their employer for housing and health care.  It’s a program that might work well for farmer, but it makes the immigrant worker beholden to his or her employer.

Continue reading the post here


The Unholy Love-Child of Web 2.0 and PowerPoint

This is a great little short film by A Film by Clemens Kogler.

From the YouTube description
Le Grand Content examines the omnipresent Powerpoint-culture in search for its philosophical potential. Intersections and diagrams are assembled to form a grand ‘association-chain-massacre’. which challenges itself to answer all questions of the universe and some more. Of course, it totally fails this assignment, but in its failure it still manages to produce some magical nuance and shades between the great topics death, cable tv, emotions and hamsters.

If you crossed Marvin the Paranoid Android and Al Gore, I think this this would be the resulting content.

Creating Frameworks 101

We all know that simple is often the most elegant and I found little gem off Seth Goodin’s site. Indexed is a visual blog that uses simple visual frameworks to ponder life’s big questions. Huge insights? Maybe, maybe not, but often amusing. What I like is you immediately understand exactly what’s going on with no explanation or additional context. She’s a cartoonist of quantifying culture. Its an inspiration for those of use that are paragraph focused.

Thanks for the chuckle.