Life as an Insect Inside a Glass Jar: Language Learning Through Immersion (Sic Semper, Malinowski and the Tropical Beach...) What does it feel like to live as an insect inside a glass jar? The praying mantis was removed from its environment suddenly, and plopped into a clean, bright glass vessel, along with other things that … Continue reading Life as an Insect Inside a Glass Jar: Language Learning Through Immersion
There need be no explanation for most occupations– but ethnographer? At least one of Argentina's beloved poets would not have asked what I do if we'd met at a cocktail party, so I'd told him I was an ethnographer. It's 1969, an assortment of olives and cheese crumbles between us, I swirl my dram glass … Continue reading “Certain esoteric rites” for The Ethnographer
I am teaching a Population class here in Chico, California, this semester. Sometime during the class, I generally ask students about how many children there are in their families, and what their own fertility intentions are. To avoid the complications of the modern family, divorce, remarriage, and so forth, I break it into three questions, … Continue reading Asking How Many Children Your Mother Has is a Complicated Survey Question!
It was January 1919, and Max Weber was on a roll in his career as a German politician, journalist, and academic. Germany had on November 11, 1918, more or less surrendered to the Allied forces of France, Britain, Italy and the United States, and Germany slowly began to collapse into an anarchic state. Bavaria sort … Continue reading Participant Observation at Its Best: How Max Weber Concluded Nine out of Ten Politicians are Windbags!
This Week in Ethnography, the big news was Mitt Romney "using" the word culture but that news is already very well described by Jason Antrosio. So I found another hidden gem that came out this week: a great post on "Writing Live Fieldnotes". It describes a technique that could solve a challenge I am facing in a … Continue reading This Week in Ethnography: Writing Live Fieldnotes With Social Media: Towards a More Open Ethnography | Ethnography Matters
Another classic question in the age of the internet: How do indigenous peoples feel about anthropology graduate students doing fieldwork? Mark Dawson first reported his research about this subject in a classic post here at Ethnography.com on April 1, 2007.
The following post from culturnicity got me thinking about the ongoing grudge match between those who demand a year in the field [imagine someone with a long beard in an arm-chair saying "to record a full record of experiences during the ecological annum"] compared to those who are more focused on the content and outcomes of the … Continue reading Methods to Mind: Long or Short Term Approaches to Ethnographic Research
There is not much to report in "This Week in Ethnography", a segment I am inventing as a means of reporting on the global pulse of this most important subject. The one item that jumped out of my feeds at me was that I missed the application deadline (of July 22, 2012) for the: Second Digital … Continue reading This Week in Ethnography: Second Digital Ethnography Week _ Trento 17-21 sept. 2012
As the Obama Administration’s new “Big Data Research and Development Initiative” has made clear, the “big data” era is officially upon us. The term – “big data” has been used in multiple ways, but most generally refers to the avalanche of “raw data” generated by the internet and other new kinds of data-capturing sensor and … Continue reading “Culture” in the Science Fictional Universe of “Big Data”
An experience I’ve been meaning to share since the end of December concerns the Human Terrain System (HTS). Dr. Henry Delcore at California State University, Fresno, invited me to act as a judge for a class debate. The question of debate was, "Should the American Anthropological Association (the main professional organization for anthropologists in the … Continue reading An HTS Debate
I had the opportunity to attend the 2008 EPIC conference in Copenhagen, Denmark last October. A hot topic there was the use of “Personas” in usability research, with the idea that it was an effective and quick way to communicate the results of the research to the client. Personas are fictional characters developed as a … Continue reading Personas