Posts on Twitter:

An anthropologist following Gandhi. Doordarshan crew at the National Gandhi Museum on Kasturba Gandhi's death anniversary. Not surprising that journalists and cultural anthropologists bump into each other.

Thanks to from Frontline Advisory for a fascinating brief on and harnessing the intellectual firepower of military organisations to perform .

Exciting to be back doing fieldwork @ St Thomas' Hospital, London, even if I did misunderstand what a 'digital examination' was!!! (couldn't have been more wrong!). Really love place-based with a focus on and .

RT : Introducing study walls onboard the new ships, more than 250 topics from the fields of , have been digitized for the study walls

Thrilled that this year's Laird Christie Annual Lecture in will be delivered by Kristina Lyons & . She'll be talking about poetic , rivers, and restitution in post-conflict Colombia

Introducing study walls onboard the new ships, more than 250 topics from the fields of , have been digitized for the study walls

On I once again shout my love for (especially) beyond the human. Learning more all the time from the work of those who do . And when I, myself, write about .... I *am* writing anthropology.

Retweet Retweeted Like Liked

Practicing ethnography for the next two days at the policomm conference to inform planning for PCPO activities in the future

Перша козацька церква на Тамані була збудована запорожцями ще в 1793 році. Зберіглася й понині.

A year ago I was honoured to have this of mine of an old chosen to be the poster of a great about local in its 10th

A gentle reminder that in addition to our general call for papers, we are accepting submissions for our special section: The Labours of Collaboration. A detailed call for papers can be found here:

A fascinating and "Detailed Ethno-Racial Map of the World 2018" by Masaman | The conversation in the comments is quite interesting as well. via

Posts on Tumblr:

Ito ‘yung panahon na sinambit natin sa ating mga sarili na tayo'y maglilingkod para sa ating bayan. Na kung san man tayo makarating, ito'y para sa pagyabong ng mamayamang Pilipino.

Babalik tayo rito. Nakatanim ang puso natin sa lupang ito. Hinding-hindi tayo makakalimot.

Çobanıyla kasabını biririnden
Ayırt edemeyen halkım!..

Metin Kaygalak - Doğu Kapısındaki Jonglör (Sf:23)

Görsel :  © (( Layli and Noide - on Mount Ararat, Turkey (2004) ))

Nanook of the north ...

It is inevitable not to relate personally to what we see on the screen. whether you hated it or loved it, it doesn’t matter at the end when you found your connection you will start to build your opinion about/around it. With documentaries,  it is not easy for me to relate to what on the screen without understanding what was happening behind it. the narrative is incomplete I need more to truly build an opinion. Who are the movie makers? who paid for it? when it was filmed? why? among other questions, so whenever I got a chance to dig deeper I do. 

Originally posted by die-seite-des-dr-caligari

As for the anthropological documentaries, in my perspective, it is crucial to understand the circumstances around/behind the production. The researcher background, approach and many other factors can affect the final product” the film” and sometimes it made me question the credibility of the film. Sometimes what happened behind the camera is a completely different narrative waiting to be explored.  

Nanook of the north is a good example for incomplete narrative from my perspective. I’ve chosen to write my first blog about it because I had an argument with a friend regarding the hunting trip scenes whether it was realistic or just forced by Flaherty to make the narrative excited?!!!! i decided to rewatch the movie and take notes then compare it to Flaherty side of the story

“How I Filmed ‘Nanook of the North’ is the name of an article Flaherty wrote about the filming process. I remember how much I was excited the first time I read it because I got to know more about Flaherty’s journey with Nanook, their relationship, the dynamics between the film crew including Flaherty himself and the locals. But it was disappointing for me when I was trying to connect the dots between what was going on in the field (from Flaherty’s perspective) in return of what did he chose to include in the movie. Not to mention others who analyzed Flaherty’s work and added more exciting points to the narrative. so I ended up with a list of questions but I will leave two only to you all to answer: 


Question one “ big aggle ” 

For the purpose of not writing 10 pages about Nanook, I will only focus my notices on one incident “ the hunting trip”  at the article Flaherty wrote “ The walrus hunt having proved so successful Nanook aspired to bigger things. The first of the bigger things was to be a bear hunt at Cape Sir Thomas Smith which lay some two hundred miles northward of us. “Here,” said Nanook, “is where the she-bear den in the winter. I know, for I have hunted them there, and it seems to me that there we might get the big, big aggle”. 

Following this part, Flaherty talked about how much Nanook pictured and visualized the conflict scene with the bear. So other than just observing Nanook’s life. Nanook was actually discussing his narrative with Flaherty and was in control of what to show or not show. That raises a big question in my head “if creating specific circumstances which will lead to a conflict which becomes an essential point of the narrative or observation for filming purposes only can affect the credibility of the documentary?”

Question two “ We are in this together”

“ We forgot about bear hunting; for two and half weeks we tried for seals wandering from day to day along the broken ice foot of the Cape. In that interval, two small seals were killed and they were just enough to keep the dogs alive. For four days, at one time, we had no seal oil and our igloo was in darkness. The dogs were utterly weak and slept in the igloo tunnel. Whenever I had to crawl out of doors I would have to lift them to one side like sacks of flour for they were too weak and indifferent to move away. The irony of it all was that bears there were everywhere; four of them had passed within a thousand feet of our igloo one night but the dogs were too weak to bay them or bring them to a stand. My own food supply was nearing its fag ends. For days past I had been sharing it with the men. “

Well in the movie Flaherty pictured the journey differently. he removed himself from the equation to focus on the protagonist yet he was the main player and motivator for the journey to “make a big picture” how did that affect what we see in the movie?

At the end when you read about how he filmed the film you will discover that it is another movie.  I wanted to pose more questions but I have to run, I am not done with Nanook, still, a lot to say.

But I have to run now!


I chose to map the bowling alley. My friends and I decided to go for a fun night out so I took this opportunity to do my assignment. I found a lot of competitive players, loud talking, and loud noises. I noticed a lot of adults drinking and being competitive. I thought it would be more children in the bowling alley but it was 90% adults, I guess it was because it was so late at night. If I would’ve visited during the day, during the week I would see more children compared to adults. 

The second type of research I conducted for this assignment was through Survey Monkey! I think Survey Monkey is an example of many of the design leadership ship topics we’ve covered so far. It’s a platform that makes compiling information and polling people for research and infinitely easier process. It also has amazing tracking and analyzing feature that were so helpful to me during this process! I decided to use Survey Monkey for my Facebook and Blogger research bc Facebook doesn’t have the same built in polls as Instagram. And while i enjoyed the Instagram polls, Instagram didn’t not have a way to automatically analyze and combine all the research conducted. So using Survey Monkey was much easier.

Fieldwork #3:

The place that I decided to observe was the Morgan State University Behavioral Science building. The reason why I chose this specific was because this is where most of my classes are held and it also a main part of Morgan’s Campus. As soon as you walk through threw the front doors, you could see how much effort is put in to work. Four floor of classes full of students working hard to gain an education. In various class, you can see most students taking notes. You can see other classes in section while lectures are going in in the main large lecture room. There would also be various students working on assignments on their own time, making sure that their grades are in order and reaching towards their goal. In the atmosphere, you can sense the importance of education to these people. I also considered how busy this place would become throughout the day, when different classes are in section. I could guess the estimated amount of how many people come to this building everyday.


Sharing some of the information gathered from in-person interviews; as noted, the subject size was quite small. It was interesting to hear the experiences of those close to me; all who participated indicated that they would seek mental health help if they truly believed it would help. For some, social stigma was a large issue - not only on the broader scale of not wanting to be considered “mentally ill,” but also on a smaller, more personal level of not wanting their parents, close friends, and significant others to be “burdened” with their mental health issues.

How can we get people in need to seek mental health services and support? 

For my ethnographic research, I was only able to conduct in-person interviews with a small handful of (five) personal friends and family. This was not particularly surprising, as the audience in question - those who may need mental health support, but are unable/unwilling to seek it - is expected to be naturally reticent about discussing the issue, or even self-identifying as part of this audience.

Given the sensitivity of the topic, I did not take any photos of interview subjects for their privacy. To get a better sample size, I sought YouTube videos of members of this audience who had previously feared seeking help for their mental illnesses, and later opened up about this experience in hopes of helping others. One thing that I found to be interesting was that my personal interviews included two males; however, it was rather difficult to find videos or blogs of males discussing this issue online.

I generally found that the in-person interviews were extremely helpful, however, it was difficult to find any subjects that I did not know personally (again, given the nature of the topic). Broadening the research to subjects that openly discuss the topic online via video or blog posts was extremely helpful in expanding the topic to those outside of my personal contacts. 

The image above includes screenshots of some of these “video subjects,” along with two quotes that I felt resonated throughout the experiences of the subjects involved.

“At its core, direct observation is about stepping into the user’s “native habitat” and capturing the full context, without interpretation and judgment…The goal is not statistical certainty but the cultivation of new hypotheses that can be explored later.”

- Liedtka, Oglive, & Brozenske. (2014). The Designing for Growth Field Book: A Step-By-Step Project Guide. New York: Columbia University Press.

As part of my ethnography research in a project about gym tidiness, I observed several gym members during their workouts. 

One observation I made was that younger members tended to spend a lot of time in between sets on their phones. I pushed aside the knee-jerk judgments that seemed to bubble up by distracting my mind with new hypotheses to test. For example, if the gym turned off its wifi, would gym members stop using their phone, would they decide to workout somewhere else, or would they find something else on their phone to look at?

Three other direct observation tips from the book mentioned above include:

  1. “Observe physical space.” - Often, we have to train ourselves to call out what our minds naturally just sense. For example, the temperature, the smell, the volume of any music, the acoustics, the color and mood of the light. All these can affect how people interact (or don’t interact).
  2. “Observe non-verbal behaviors.” - Don’t just jot down what people do. Learn to read body-language. Are they relaxed or stiff? Are they smiling? Are they making eye-contact? Are they crossing their arms?
  3. Just the facts. Avoid judgment and interpretation at all costs. An observation is: The two women are facing each other and laughing. An interpretation is: The two women are friends or one woman just said something funny.” - I left this quote in full because it’s perfect.

“Ethnography is the study of human cultures. For innovation and growth teams, this means studying users in ways that capture the full context of their experience, including behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, and cultural meaning.” 

- Liedtka, Oglive, & Brozenske. (2014). The Designing for Growth Field Book: A Step-By-Step Project Guide. New York: Columbia University Press.

Recently, while working on a project to find ways to get gym members to tidy up after themselves, I returned to my notes from my Design Thinking class. The purpose of ethnographic interview is not to collect a large set of datapoints to find trends. 

Instead, identify a small number of customers (about a dozen) that represent various demographics, and dig deep to uncover their values, beliefs, and motivations. 

Three tips for the interview process include:

  1. “Orient, but don’t prime.” - be careful to not “lead the witness”. That is, make sure you approach the interview and each question without giving the notion of what you hope to find.
  2. “Walk backward, then forward.” - Respondents will often tell you what happened. It is the interviewer’s job to uncover the cause and effect of the action.
  3. “Ask attitudinal questions last.” - Asking interviewees about their feelings on a subject may taint the rest of their answers. Best to hold these sort of questions until the end. 

Visual diary #5 | Questionnaire

After the initial set of user interviews, I created a simple Google Forms questionnaire to send out. The questionnaire had 10 questions that had been improved and tweaked throughout the in-person interviews.

After sending this questionnaire out to family, friends, and coworkers, I set out to conduct in-person research at supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops, and the gym.

By this time, I had made a small but significant tweak to the initial problem statement. It changed from “How can technology help consumers waste less time?” to “How can technology help us spend less time in lines?” The two big changes were dropping consumers in favor of ‘us’ and focusing on spending time in 'lines’ instead of 'wasted time.’ I realized everyone sees their time differently and I would need to establish control that everyone could quickly understand when answering questions.


I live in Austin, TX. It’s a big foodie city and there are a huge amount of incredible restaurants, many of which are in food trucks. Once I began this project, I tried to pay more attention to others outside my party when we ate out. I quickly noticed people didn’t seem to mind waiting in line if they were with friends and family. Some restaurants had long wait lines but many people didn’t seem to care because they were waiting in line for great food. While waiting in line at a small pop-up taco shop, I did not see the same reaction. People here were largely alone, likely taking their lunch break. Here, everyone was on their phones looking for a distraction. While visiting popular restaurants, many people seem to understand and accept the fact they will be waiting in line. They seemed to roll that into the entire experience. At other smaller restaurants, customers treated the experience as more transactional. Picking up their food and leaving as quickly as possible.


While waiting in line at the supermarket, many people seemed to be scanning for more efficient checkout lanes. A surprising number never took their eyes of the lines before them, seemingly ready to switch at any point they thought they could check out faster. They didn’t seem bothered, happy, or sad. They seemed motivated. 

The questionnaire I shared via email included a few questions that sought to define user pain points while waiting in line. I asked about which lines were the most bothersome, what an 'acceptable’ amount of time to wait before getting seated at a restaurant, and others. After sending the questionnaire out, several of my coworkers and friends emailed or texted offering suggestions or input that I hadn’t accounted for in the study. Going forward, I will be adding more questions to get a better sense of how people see their time waiting in lines.

After studying Dr. James Spradley’s nine dimensions of ethnography, I came to the realization that people saw their time in lines differently, based on how they prioritized what they were waiting in line for. If they were waiting for dinner at a popular restaurant with friends, they didn’t mind. If they were waiting for a staff member to help with an unexpected task at the gym, they cared a great deal. It all seemed to come down to how important the task was to the user and their perceived time expected to wait in line.


An “Engaging” Find

Modern society is far more connected to the rest of the world now with mankind’s new best friend, their mobile device. But does being virtually connected to the rest of the world disconnect us from physical social engagement? How do we engage people to be present with each other instead of distracted on their phones?

I used ethnography to understand this topic better by people-watching during dinner time at a food court. People’s interactions with a mobile device consisted of scrolling through a social media feed, texting, taking selfies, taking pictures of food/drinks, taking pictures of people’s kids, watching videos, making phone calls, and more. Regardless of interaction, majority of the group had at least one person with their phone visible. I considered this idled state to be when a phone “loiters.” Besides the common communication and entertainment uses for a mobile device, I also noticed that it was used to fidget with. One person opened up their menu apps just to scroll through the menu, a few others held it in their hands without using it. There were a few groups fully engaged, and at one point or another, everyone in a group was completely disengaged and was on their phones. 

From my observations, I have come to realized how mobile devices don’t quite distract as much as I thought. Perhaps, it is a tool to help cope with social anxiety and find relief when someone need to disengage temporarily. I’m looking forward to doing further research into this topic and better understand the motivations for disengagement, in turn cultivate engaging interactions. 

1969. A beautiful illustration of the Rugova dance, Peja region, Kosovo. This illustration was made by the Croatian photographer/ethnographer and illustrator Zdenka Sertic.
Reference: Žunić-Baš, L. (1969). Zehn Reisen durch die Jugoslawische Folklore; Illustrationen Zdenka Sertic. [Schriftleitung: Julijana vuco: Izdavacki zavod Jugoslavija.


Water You Goin’ Do About It?

On February 7th, 2019 I had entered the Whole Foods for the purpose of finding whatever water they had, sold, displayed—everything that was water. I had just finished a discussion with a colleague and we parted ways right before I had entered the location at around 11:08-11:10 am. The immediate walk into Whole Foods was familiar, but distantly so: it was not one of their rushes so walking through and leisurely walking around was never going to be an issue; but was the issue, for me, was ‘where was the water’? Of course people had been walking past me, the college students that were making their own shopping spree of course, but not so much as compared to my next trip which I will discuss later.

The first sign of water was on the top floor (where I began the field trip) with the brand called ‘Starkey’: I am not very familiar with it—all I do know is that it was not 365, so it could not have been Whole Foods brand itself. With this specific item, there were rounds of them, and it was very obvious they were marketing them specifically due to being near the entrance/exit; it was also the different types of bottles they used for this water that stuck out: not only did they have their [red] plastic sticker-wrap (branding notification), but also variations of the water bottles themselves: small and plastic, as well as larger and [I believe] glass. Eventually I went towards and past the baked goods but noticed they also had coconut water (Whole Foods brand) lodged underneath some of the bakery items. This was the second instance of water they had but there was plenty more to be seen.

On the top floor, where one enters and exits Whole Foods, there is also a section of handheld waters—otherwise waters that are the typical bottles one drinks and can put in their bag or backpacks. These originally used to be across from the electronic food-ordering machines, but now are distantly diagonal from you if you were to be at the ordering machines. I made my way towards them and instantly noticed there was an array of not only sizes of waters, but also flavors. There were perhaps 8-10 brands of water (with exception of coconut water [ew]). There was also around 3-5 brands of coconut water though, that remained in the area right besides the ‘regular’ water. For the latter, though, there were different types of flavors that included alkaline, electrolytes (especially and specifically Whole Foods brand)—there were roughly 3-5 types of water, which also includes the ‘regular’, average [plain] water. But this did not compare to what was seen next downstairs.

Traveling back towards where I came from, around the entrance/exit, I took the down-escalator—which resides to the left of the stairs. As I was going down, I noticed an opened package of water bottles to the right of the steps—which was unusual considering that whenever I do go to Whole Foods, they tend to keep things relatively cleaned and organized especially with the amount of workers coming through the areas. Not only was the package open, and this was quite a package of water bottles (this was a bulk of water bottles, 12-16 pack), bottles had also been taken out of the package, and it was stacked on top of other packages that were not open. I found that they too were next to reusable water bottles (bottles that resembled miniature jugs) made to be handheld, on the top shelf of a random shelving storage that were also to the right of the stairs. On the bottom shelf there were bigger jugs, Deer Park ones, that perhaps could be reusable, but I did not understand the purpose of this positioning—other than to lead towards the actual aisle of water, which I did believe to be so.

This was a misleading tactic because it led me to the aisle for cleaners and other sorts; thus began my mini journey to find the station for all that is water. It took up to almost five minutes to find the waters, and to be honest that does take a long time—also shows the familiarity with the location (I for one am not totally familiar with Whole Foods as I once was). Eventually I noticed that though it was personally hard to find, not many people were around so judgment was off the table. It was again not a rush time for Whole Foods; in fact, it was pretty barren for both people and foods. And it was somewhat barren for certain waters once I did find the aisle.

Yes! I found it, though it was to the left of the escalator—and I had no idea, whatsoever. But yes found it, and it became clear that Whole Foods keeps itself stocked with EVERY water known to human kind. When I say that they do not play with the item—they. Do. Not. Play. If you are health nut and want that metal, vitamin, or whatever in your water—it’s done. If you do not like the taste it has, there are also flavors for that plus the mineral you need or want is still there. You want tonic water for some late night drinks, or feeling fancy and want sparkling? Done. You do not like the taste of sparkling water? Done (with just about 4-10 flavors that you can choose from). I mean yes there was a lack in the gallons of water, but there sure was not anybody getting any water (with the exception of a college student who may have looked at coconut water upstairs) that very day—or even this past Sunday when I went again.

On my second trip this past Sunday, I recalled and counted a rough estimate for each section of water Whole Foods had. The top floor’s estimate has been mentioned before and still shows the variety of water one could have if they want it in that exact moment. The only exception was Starkey: they had moved it downstairs and in lieu of it they put in the Valentine’s Day drinks, candies, bouquets, etc. Now for downstairs, there was roughly 21-25 brands of water: this does include, now, the coconut water, the mineralize water, etc. There were also around 25-35 types, or flavors, of water that flavored alkaline, general alkaline, regular, flavored sparkling, etc. It just blew my mind how many there could be created—yet the interest in it all lacks. The factors that perhaps affected the amount of people I saw the first time were the time of day, and the day of the week. 

anonymous asked:

how would you define the difference between anthropology and ethnography? I’ve heard some differing opinions on this so I’d like to hear what you think

“Well, I would start by clarifying that words can have many different uses and my preferred way of using them is not necessarily objectively correct or possibly even common, and this applies especially when we consider the boundaries between related subjects. 

However, in how I will typically express things, anthropology has an automatic macro focus. It is the study of all of human culture. In some ways it is inherently comparative, though I think it more accurate to say that it is inherently concerned with universalities as well as unique features. One can also study anthropology from multiple perspectives and in multiple ways. 

An ethnography is a study of a human culture done from the point of view of a participant in that culture, though typically the ethnographer is an outsider to the culture. They observe while they live among them and do as they do. This method of study is highly prized in anthropology and is much of what I do, although I also make full use of other resources and methods. 

What have you heard these words used to mean? I’d love to hear another perspective.” 

Honestly shoutout to Google. I was required to read this book for an anthology class I took in college - back in 2010-2011. I remember really liking this book told from the perspective of a woman in a middle-eastern village but couldn’t remember any more details than that. It was a textbook we had to buy but read more like a novel and I found myself unable to put it down in parts.

With this being all the information at my disposal I finally tried to google it and sure enough it’s the 4th book in the recommended results.


young bali warrior by deewp

A Dalmatian Croat from Dubrovnik in traditional clothing holds a gusle

In Dalmatia the playing of the gusle is often accompanied by an ancient form of polyphonic folk singing called Ojkanje. A unique style of melismatic singing with a prolonged and sharp shaking of the voice on the syllables hoj or oj. Musicologists theorize that this type of singing predates the Slavic settlement of Dalmatia, preserved after the formation of the Croat nation and maintained until modern times.