41 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. !..�P'�r\0CA \= e,;4 ��'-"-'

      Could empirical data made up of experiences present in the form of an ethnography? Or autoethnography? I'm not sure if this is what you were getting at here, but it is a thought that came to mind!

  2. Jan 2019
  3. Dec 2018
    1. A repertoire of very general, made-in-the-academy concepts and systems of concepts-"integration," "rationalization," "symbol," "ideology," "ethos," "revolution," "identity," "metaphor," "structure," "ritual," "world view," "actor," "function," "sacred," and, of course, "culture" itself-is woven into the body of thick-description ethnography in the hope of rendering mere occurrences scientifically eloquent

      Concepts that communicate thick description.

    2. Such a view of how theory functions in an interpretive science suggests that the distinction, relative in any case, that appears in the experimental or observational sciences between "descrip­tion" and "explanation" appears here as one, even more relative, between "inscription" ("thick description") and "specification" ("diagnosis")-between setting down the meaning particular social actions have for the actors whose actions they are, and stating, as explicitly as we can manage, what the knowledge thus attained demonstrates about the society in which it is found, and beyond that, about social life as such. Our double task is to uncover the conceptual struc­tures that inform our subjects' acts, the "said" of social discourse, and to construct a system of analysis in whose terms what is generic to those structures, what belongs to them because they are what they are, will stand out against the other determinants of human behavior. In ethnog­raphy, the office of theory is to provide a vocabulary in which what symbolic action has to say about itself-that is, about the role of culture in human life-can be expressed.

      The nut of Geertz' argument: Ethnographic theory building is about developing conceptual structures applicable to other settings in order to understand and analyze culture (human life, symbolic action, and beliefs). Thick description and its interpretation provides the framework for making theoretical distinctions.

    3. conceptualization is directed toward the task of generating interpretations of matters already in hand, not toward projecting outcomes of experimental manipulations or deducing future states of a determined system. But that does not mean that theory has only to fit (or, more carefully, to generate cogent interpre­tations of) realities past; it has also to survive-intellectually survive-realities to come. Although we formulate our interpretation of an outburst of winking or an instance of sheep­raiding after its occurrence, sometimes long after, the theoretical framework in terms of which such an interpretation is made must be capable of continuing to yield defensible interpretations as new social phenomena swim into view

      Cultural theory is not predictive but interpretative. Thick description helps to determine whether a theory can be further elaborated or is no longer useful for describing/interpreting behavior.

    4. The first is the need for theory to stay rather closer to the ground than tends to be the case in sciences more able to give themselves over to imaginative abstraction. Only short flights of ratiocination tend to be effective in anthropology; longer ones tend to drift off into logical dreams, academic bemusements with formal symmetry. The whole point of a semiotic approach to culture is, as I have said, to aid us in gaining access to the conceptual world in which our subjects live so that we can, in some extended sense of the term, converse with them. The tension between the pull of this need to penetrate an unfamiliar universe of symbolic action and the requirements of technical advance in the theory of culture, between the need to grasp and the need to analyze, is, as a result, both necessarily great and essentially irremovable.

      Challenges of theory development about cultural understandings. The tension between semiotic/symbolic approaches that require interpretation (grasp) versus methods that are grounded in analysis.

      "...the essential task of theory building here is not to codify abstract regularities but to make thick description possible, not to generalize across cases but to generalize within them."

    5. Ethnographic findings are not privileged, just particular: another country heard from. To regard them as anything more (or anything less) than that distorts both them and their implications, which are far profounder than mere primitivity, for social theory.

      This tension exists in HCI as well.

      Interpreted data vs empirical data and how each is systematically analyzed.

    6. Cultural analysis is (or should be) guessing at meanings, assessing the guesses, and drawing explanatory conclusions from the better guesses, not discovering the Continent of Meaning and mapping out its bodiless landscape. So, there are three characteristics of ethnographic description: it is interpretive; what it is interpretive of is the flow of social discourse; and the interpreting involved consists in trying to rescue the "said" of such discourse from its perishing occasions and fix it in perusable terms ... But there is, in addition, a fourth characteristic of such description, at least as I practice it: it is microscopic.

      Ethnographic description:

      • Interpretation/sensemaking/meaning/explanation • Interpret the flow of social discourse • Contextualize the discourse • Focus on details

    7. But as the standard answer to our question has been, "He observes, he records, he analyzes"-a kind of veni, vidi, vici conception of the matter-it may have more deep-going consequences than are at first apparent, not the least of which is that distinguishing these three phases of knowledge­seeking may not, as a matter of fact, normally be possible; and, indeed, as autonomous "opera­tions" they may not in fact exist

      Thick description as knowledge seeking, not simply recorded observation.

    8. But it is an aim to which a semiotic concept of culture is peculiarly well adapted. As interworked systems of construable signs (what, ignor­ing provincial usages, I would call symbols), culture is not a power, something to which social events, behaviors, institutions, or processes can be causally attributed; it is a context, some-· thing within which they can be intelligibly-that is, thickly-described ....

      The primary point of the thick description -- to describe culture as a context in a systematized interpretation of human behavior.

    9. rom this view of what culture is follows a view equally assured, of what describing it is-the writing out of systematic rules, an ethnographic algorithm, which, if followed, would make it possible so to operate, to pass (physical appearance aside) for a native. In such a way, extreme subjectivism is married to extreme formalism, with the expected result: an explosion of debate as to whether particular analyses (which come in the form of taxonomies, paradigms, tables, trees, and other ingenuities) reflect what the natives "really" think or are merely clever simula­tions, logically equivalent but substantively different, of what they think. ...

      Geertz critique of the behaviorist fallacy also seems to touch on Bowker and Star's argument that meaningful classification comes from within a group not an external observer.

    10. One is to imagine that culture is a self-contained "super-organic" reality with forces and purposes of its own; that is, to reify it. Another is to claim that it consists in the brute pattern of behavioral events we observe in fact to occur in some identifiable community or other; that is, to reduce it.

      Geertz warns about the danger of reducing or reifying culture. While this may have been a debate in anthropology in 1973 (hopefully resolved), it still seems to resonate in HCI today between the factions of technological determinism and social constructionism

    11. Once human behavior is seen as (most of the time; there are true twitches) symbolic action-action which, like phonation in speech, pigment in painting, line in writing, or sonance in music, signifies-the question as to whether culture is patterned conduct or a frame of mind, or even the two somehow mixed together, loses sense

      Action/human behavior as a symbol to illuminate "what's important" not just what exists or can be observed.

    12. Here, in our text, such sorting would begin with distinguishing the three unlike frames of interpretation ingredient in the situation, Jewish, Berber, and French, and would then move on to show how (and why) at that time, in that place, their copresence produced a situation in which systematic misunderstanding reduced traditional form to social farce.

      Example of what needs to be considered to produce a thick description.

    13. Analysis, then, is sorting out the structures of signification-what Ryle called established codes, a somewhat misleading expression, for it makes the enterprise sound too much like that of the cipher clerk when it is much more like that of the literary critic-and determining their social ground and import.

      "sorting out the structures of signification ... and determining their social ground and import" seems akin to Bowker and Star's discussion about the social, ethical, and moral aspects of classification.

    14. Quoted raw, a note in a bottle, this passage conveys, as any similar one similarly presented would do, a fair sense of how much goes into ethnographic description of even the most elemental sort-how extraordinarily "thick" it is. In finished anthropological writings, includ­ing those collected here, this fact-that what we call our data are really our own constructions of other people's constructions of what they and their compatriots are up to-is obscured because most of what we need to comprehend a particular event, ritual, custom, idea, or what­ever is insinuated as background information before the thing itself is directly examined.

      Deeper exploration of just how "thick" these descriptions (interpretations of interpretations) can be versus observation.

    15. But the point is that between what Ryle calls the "thin description" of what the rehearser (parodist, winker, twitcher ... ) is doing ("rapidly contracting his right eyelids") and the "thick description" of what he is doing ("practicing a burlesque of a friend faking a wink to deceive an innocent into thinking a conspiracy is in motion") lies the object of ethnography: a stratified hierarchy of meaningful structures in terms of which twitches, winks, fake-winks, parodies, rehearsals of parodies are produced, perceived, and interpreted, and without which they would not (not even the zero-form twitches, which, as a cultural category, are as much nonwinks as winks are nontwiches) in fact exist, no matter what anyone did or didn't do with his eyelids

      Definition of thick vs thin description in ethnography.

      For HCI, ethnographic description (and ethnomethodology) help to generate the necessary symbols, sensemaking, and motivations to better interpret and understand human behavior with a specific cultural context. Helps to put a much finer point on simple observation.

  4. Nov 2017
    1. how could we take something seriously that had birthed lolcats? 

      Ask @BiellaColeman.

    2. If the Web were a concrete space, what would it look like?
    3. We find that often we can learn more about the assignment that a student had been given than about the student herself.

      Sounds like ethnography!

  5. Oct 2017
    1. Old standards no longer hold. Ethnographies do not produce timeless truths. The commitment to objectivism is now in doubt. The complicity with imperialism is openly challenged today, and the belief in monumentalism is a thing of the past.
  6. Sep 2016
    1. concern with the meaning of actions and events to the people we seek to understand

      ethnography- learning about other people

    2. When ethnographers study other cultures, they must deal with three fundamental aspects of human experience: what people do, what people know, and the things peo-ple make and use

      Ethnographers deal with three fundamental aspects of the human experience : cultural behavior, cultural knowledge, and cultural artifacts

    3. Fieldwork, then, involves the disciplined study of what the world is like to people who have learned to see, hear, speak, think, and act in ways that are dif-ferent
      • the fieldwork for an ethnographer
      • they learn from the people rather than just studying them
    4. Ethnography is the work of describing a culture

      Ethnography – work of describing a culture The goal of an ethnographer is “to grasp the native’s point of view, his relation to life, to realize his vision of his world.”

    5. Ethnographic fieldwork is the hallmark of cultural anthropology
      • Ethnographic fieldwork is the greeting card to cultural anthropology
      • Cultural anthropology is when someone goes to another community and studying the culture
      • ethnographic fieldwork is the work of describing a culture and the fieldwork is what they learn from the people rather than just studying them
    6. In order to discover the hidden principles of another way of life, the researcher must become a student

      To discover hidden views one must become a student while local people from the area you are studying becomes the teacher, the ethnographer tries to learn about how certain things identified the people

    7. Rather than studying people, ethnography means learning from people
    8. The goal of ethnography, as Malinowski put it, is “to grasp the native’s point of view, his relation to life, to realize his vision of his world.”

      Not to just study the culture, to study from within the culture. (English lit, one story) Ethnographers look past culture's "one story" to live in people's individual stories

    9. anthropologist goes to where peo-ple live and “does fieldwork.”
      • Anthropologists go to where people live and by fieldwork it participates in activities, asks questions, watches ceremonies, etc.
      • activities often obscures the nature the of most important task of doing ethnography
    10. The essential core of ethnograph

      people dont completely understand other cultures of people. so its one of the concerns . some innotations are expressed through language.

    11. The central aim of ethnography is to understand another way of life from the native point of view.

      You want to learn the way of life as accurately as you can

    12. Ethnography is the work of describing a culture

      Ethnography definition

    1. Qualitative differences like spending on recruitment or types of degrees conferred matter to solvency and public perception.
    2. Sociologist Dorothy Smith called this “textually-mediated social organization” or institutional ethnography.
  7. Jun 2016
    1. However, a diverse body of work on thesocially situated nature of scientific communication alreadyexists which points the way. This ranges from Crane’s(1969) pioneering analyses of invisible colleges throughLatour and Woolgar’s (1979) classic study of laboratory lifeat the Salk Institute to Traweek’s (1992) richly texturedethnography of the HEP community. In addition, the workof Schatz and colleagues on the Worm Community Systemproject, which was designed to capture the full range ofknowledge, formal and informal, of the community of mo-lecular biologists who study the nematode worm C. elegans(see: http://www.canis.uiuc.edu/projects/wcs/index.html)can provide useful insights; so, too, research into the mate-rial practices and social interactions of scientists working incollaboratories, such as the Upper Atmospheric ResearchCollaboratory (see: http://intel.si.umich.edu/crew/Research/resrch08.htm) or the Space, Physics & Aeronomy ResearchCollaboratory (see: http://intel.si.umich.edu/sparc/) at theUniversity of Michigan

      great bibliography on ethnographies of different disciplines

  8. Jan 2016
    1. When Brenda starts working with a teacher for the first time, she begins by sharing much more about herself with others than she would have done back in 2008 when she began as an Education Advisor. She finds that it helps to forge a stronger connection.  She remembers hearing someone say that we are constantly asking our students to take risks and share information about themselves with the class and with the teacher, so as teachers we should model this and do the same with our students. This person convinced Brenda that it strengthens bonds, makes us more engaged with each other and makes the teaching and learning much more meaningful and fun.

      Sounds like a key lesson in any type of dialogue.

  9. Jun 2015
    1. One of the women in the Australian Shepherd breed is C.A. Sharp, she got her BA in RTF, has no formal genetics education, works as an accountant, was a breeder of Australian Shepherds who have nothing to do with Australia, they’re actually Western U.S. ranch dogs, they’re only called Australian through the Basque Sheep herders who immigrated to Australia during the same period. Sharp is an activist in the breed, and as a lay-activist publishes the Double Helix Network News, which organizes the breed interest in genetic health and disease issues. She and a friend organized a series of test-breedings around a certain eye disease which she was quite certain Australian Shepherds were subject to but which vets and geneticists denied. They designed an excellent data set to prove a point and then solicited a scientist to publish it under his name so that it could become a fact in the literature. There is a very savvy manipulation of scientific credibility in this story. It was also very clear that to make a fact a fact in an effective way, that is to say something that people will act on, requires also the emotional support system that would allow a breeder the chance not to feel stigmatized by the genetic disease of his or her dog. Thus, the emotional economy of the stabilization of a fact was also quite deliberately engaged as part of the work of doing genetics in this breed. It’s a complex sociality: the research design, the mating design, the alliance with veterinary opthamologists, with biochemical geneticists, with people who will form support groups, the alliance with the breed group movers and shakers to get a certain degree of openness. I was fascinated by the management of the material culture of making a fact whole, namely that these dogs are subject to this eye anomaly and that an action has to be taken. The kind of everyday story of what constitutes a fact, its literary material and social technologies is in Sharp’s practice in an extremely interesting way.

      This is terrifically well limned; I want to put this lens to any number of situations in which facts are made and used, especially around the way trees are done by botanists, arborists, and gardeners.

    1. to research ‘sensory perception and reception’ requires methods that ‘are capable of grasping “the most profound type of knowledge [which] is not spoken of at all and thus inaccessible to ethnographic observation or interview” (Bloch 1998: 46)’ (Bendix 2000: 41). Thus sensory ethnography discussed in the book does not privilege any one type of data or research method. Rather, it is open to multiple ways of knowing and to the exploration of and reflection on new routes to knowledge.

      Hawhee: why do I buy the "profound," the "most profound" as a description of sensory knowledge?