Friday, June 3

being on the edge...

I read Lilias post of today where she cites a short passage of "Life between buildings" and then I went on a quest for anthropological concepts that might help there - concepts of space and place - being on the physical as well as "emotional" border of a group as an anthropologist/fieldresearcher as well as informant and so on...a few interesting references came up (like SUNTA, a short detour into Marc Auge's writings) but at the end I wasn't too sucessfull.

What occured to me though, was that Blogs as software themselves have some feature that makes them ideal for writing fieldnotes...they don't require immediate reaction to whats happening - like in a chat room or a phone conversation or even face-to-face contact. Bloggers observe, think about and comment....maybe they don't make as crazy models as anthropologists do...but still...

A citation that seems somehow relevant to this:
many fieldworkers have expressed what seems to be an inherent ambiguity of the experience of ethnographic study. To be a part of a group as well as an observer of its activities induced severe cognitive dissonance in one researcher; she "experienced a gestalt switch every two minutes" [Schiffman 1991: 78] between 'being' a participant and 'being' an observer.


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