Perspectives

What Does the US-Cuba Détente Mean for the Culture Industries and Ethnographic Praxis? ~ Melisa Rivière

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What are the range of ‘communicative acts’ that successfully traverse ethnography and business/insights/strategy? Is it .ppts and white papers all the way down?

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What Does the US-Cuba Détente Mean for the Culture Industries and Ethnographic Praxis?

Melisa Rivière, Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota For over five decades in the U.S., “Cuba” has been wielded foremost as a political term, serving only secondarily as a geographic or cultural designation. The archipelago—just ninety miles from U.S. shores and rich in arts, sports, religion, medicine, agriculture, and history—has been largely off limits to U.S. citizens. Then, in a sudden announcement, the Obama Administration proposed to normalize diplomatic relations after more than fifty years of hostility between the two nations. Of particular interest to ethnographers is the fact that these recent changes to U.S. policy have focused attention…

Everything is Made up and the Points Don’t Matter

by Jon Kolko, Vice President of Design, Blackboard As children, we view the world as fixed. In the US, kids learn that red means stop, Columbus had three ships, and the police are there to protect us. We learn culture as immobile and that we have a place in that culture, and this place is reiterated continually by our socioeconomic situation and the people we see around us. As we get older, some of us experience this perspective shifting. We realize our own volition to change our circumstances and circumstances of those around us, and we begin to understand that…

Creating Ethnography

by Neal Patel, Google What is an anthropologist? What does an ethnographer actually do? I used to believe that my own answers to these questions were sufficient. In reality, however, the existential dilemma at the foundation of any institution—academic, professional, or otherwise—is a socially constructed affair. In other words, whether I want to admit it or not, my answers are partially your answers—for that matter, all of our collective answers. Indeed, the very existence of a mutually shared set of practical assumptions about ethnography is what makes these questions so important. Meanings are contested, negotiated, and (if you believe Berger…

Clear Theory for Clear People: Three Ideas for Advancing Theory in the EPIC Community Written in a “Non-theoretical” Way

by Pedro Oliveira, Independent Research Consultant As a young social scientist I used to be incredibly attracted to dense theoretical texts in anthropology, psychology and the social sciences in general. I equated thickness of language to complexity of thought. I no longer do. When I truly disowned the belief that obscure language hides complex thinking, I had two choices—either let go of theory altogether or develop a different appetite for it. I developed an appetite for clear theory and clear language. Theory in business research, even when informed by the social sciences, demands clarity. At this point in our development…

The Sociality of #shoetweet: On Latour-ing Sandals and Webinar Boots

by Donna Lanclos (Univ. of North Carolina Charlotte) Come on, people—show us the shoes: #shoetweet @epicpeople_org You can think I’m irrationally obsessed with shoes if you want, but if you’ve never thought about the profound sociality of the #shoetweet, you’re missing out. I’m not the only #shoetweeter out there. Ask yourself: Why do so many people share photos of their shoes? It’s not just some strange footwear obsessive disorder. The open web is a location, a source of tools, a network, and a place where we meet, converse with, and maintain relationships with people. The web is a Place, a…