barrabesnext

barrabesnext:

[En Ethnography Matters han publicado una serie de posts donde varios antropólogos comentan las “Tools we Use” en el trabajo de campo y el análisis de la información. Tricia Wang realiza una síntesis de sus herramientas en este post. No existe una sola herramienta que proporcione todas las utilidades y una parte del trabajo no puede basarse en tecnología, pero existen varias apps y hardware que facilitan el trabajo y permiten compartirlo y difundirlo en tiempo real (“live fieldnoting”, que hace la etnografía más abierta en el sentido en que la define Wang). Evernote e Instagram son quizás las apps más útiles en este sentido]

Tricia Wang: Writing Live Fieldnotes: Towards a More Open Ethnography

- Participant observations: Instagram, iPhone notes & email, Evernote

- Interviews: notebook, audio recorder

- Organizing fieldwork data: Evernote, Mendeley, wall with photos and sticky notes

Read other posts in the Tools We Use series:

Writing Live Fieldnotes: Towards a More Open Ethnography

Live fieldnoting: A live fieldnote is a blog post that is intended to provide an on-location and synchronous visual and textual coverage of an instance from the ethnographer’s fieldwork. The live fieldnote is created with a image sharing app on a mobile phone that is then shared to other social networking services. Images are accompanied by a description of the image and can also include a brief analysis of what the interaction means to the participatants in the image and/or to the ethnographer. All live fieldnotes are timestamped, publicly accessible on the internet, and include location data. Live fieldnotes demonstrates the combination of two activities that are central to ethnographic research, 1.) the ethnographer’s participation in a social world and 2.) the ethnographer’s written account of the world through her/his participation. Live fieldnotes are typically comprised of a one to five sentences. The accumulation of many live fieldnotes works towards producing a “thick description” along with other long form fieldnotes.  Live fieldnotes are not intended to replace the entire fieldnote writing process, rather it is just one of many ways notes can be jotted down for reflection at a later point in time.

The customer journey map is an oriented graph that describes the journey of a user by representing the different touchpoints that characterize his interaction with the service.

In this kind of visualization, the interaction is described step by step as in the classical blueprint, but there is a stronger emphasis on some aspects as the flux of information and the physical devices involved. At the same time there is a higher level of synthesis than in the blueprint: the representation is simplified trough the loss of the redundant information and of the deepest details.

The customer journey map will plot touch points, service interactions and gestures of users having experienced a service. The method helps us understand the intentional and unintentional aspects of the customer journey. The map is humanised with personal insights, anecdotes and photos, using the users language, their successes and even failures as a very user-centred visualisation of the customer journey …

Journey mapping is a method of visually representing the actual and everyday user experience of a service. Mapping journeys is one of the simplest and most useful approaches to understand services, gaps in service, and to identify and design opportunities for improvement and innovation. The mapping, representation and analysis of a journey -an experience over time- has many functions and can be applied to service design and innovation at various stages.

A critical part of any ethnographic/design research project is recruiting the right participants for the study – they are the foundation on which the research is built. The default way of recruiting in the commercial research space is to use recruiting agencies to help connect the researcher with relevant participants – generating a list that is often fleshed out by contacts from the team’s extended social network. The ideal recruiting agency list-of-potential-participants contains hundreds of millions of entries and document every aspect of potential participant’s lives – what they are doing, who they are doing it with, the causes they feel passionate about, the brands they connect with, the music they listen to, the places they go – and all updated in real time. Thanks to social networking sites like WeiboFacebookOrkut and Mixithis ‘ideal list’ already exists, and comes with a built in mechanism – their advertising platform to engage participants and proximate participants to opt into the study.

The ability to recruit through extended social networks has always been an important part of the researcher’s toolkit – with varying degrees of success depending on the focus of the participants’ profiles, the physical and spiritual distance between the study location and the team, and the breadth of the team’s extended network. The internet has made the planet smaller, social networks more apparent – making remote studies that much easier to run. Today the tools to rapidly and consistently reach and screen participants in any part of the globe are in the hands of every internet connected researcher. My estimate is that 80 to 90% of current recruiting for design research/ethnographic studies (excluding focus groups) that is currently placed through recruiting agencies could from a skill and work-flow perspective, be carried out in-house. This internalising of an otherwise outsourced practice has a couple of costs, which in most cases are easily outweighed by numerous benefits.

Abstract: Ethnography is never mere description, rather it is a theory of describing that has always been controversial as to the what and how thus inspiring a dynamic intellectual process. The process has been methodologically eclectic and innovative, governed by both consensual and outdated rules. Throughout more than hundred years of Anglo-American ethnography, observation has been combined with a wide variety of theoretical outlooks from structured-functionalist to critical writings.

Financial collapses—whether of the junk bond market, the Internet bubble, or the highly leveraged housing market—are often explained as the inevitable result of market cycles: What goes up must come down. In Liquidated, Karen Ho punctures the aura of the abstract, all-powerful market to show how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed. Through an in-depth investigation into the everyday experiences and ideologies of Wall Street investment bankers, Ho describes how a financially dominant but highly unstable market system is understood, justified, and produced through the restructuring of corporations and the larger economy.

Ho, who worked at an investment bank herself, argues that bankers’ approaches to financial markets and corporate America are inseparable from the structures and strategies of their workplaces. Her ethnographic analysis of those workplaces is filled with the voices of stressed first-year associates, overworked and alienated analysts, undergraduates eager to be hired, and seasoned managing directors. Recruited from elite universities as “the best and the brightest,” investment bankers are socialized into a world of high risk and high reward. They are paid handsomely, with the understanding that they may be let go at any time. Their workplace culture and networks of privilege create the perception that job insecurity builds character, and employee liquidity results in smart, efficient business. Based on this culture of liquidity and compensation practices tied to profligate deal-making, Wall Street investment bankers reshape corporate America in their own image. Their mission is the creation of shareholder value, but Ho demonstrates that their practices and assumptions often produce crises instead. By connecting the values and actions of investment bankers to the construction of markets and the restructuring of U.S. corporations, Liquidated reveals the particular culture of Wall Street often obscured by triumphalist readings of capitalist globalization.

1. Lowering the cost of communication

2. Controlling points of contacts

3. Ensuring reliable connectivity

Use of Multiple Mobile Phone Numbers (part 2)

Solution 1. Carrying two or more SIM cards but only one mobile

Solution 2. Multiple phones – A phone per number

Solution 3. Mobile phone with multiple SIM card slots

Solution 4. Stitching up multiple SIM cards into one

Archinect: Venice #10: Street Training
London-based artist Lottie Child led a group of people, mostly children, who live and work around Via Garibaldi in Venice, in a Street Training session for architects and planners. Inverting educational hierarchies, with adult professionals being trained by children in imaginative responses to the built environment, the session explored the relations between the built infrastructure and the social infrastructure in terms of safety and joy.With less than 5 playgrounds in Venice, the children occupy the streets. Lottie initially embarked on her research by asking the questions, “How do you feel safe in the streets?” and “How do you feel joyful in the streets?” Many people had answers to the first question, as fear mediated their experiences, but only the children had ideas on strategies for joy. Lottie decided to apprentice herself to the children, and here she brings to us some of her research: joyfulness in the streets of Venice…

Archinect: Venice #10: Street Training

London-based artist Lottie Child led a group of people, mostly children, who live and work around Via Garibaldi in Venice, in a Street Training session for architects and planners. Inverting educational hierarchies, with adult professionals being trained by children in imaginative responses to the built environment, the session explored the relations between the built infrastructure and the social infrastructure in terms of safety and joy.

With less than 5 playgrounds in Venice, the children occupy the streets. Lottie initially embarked on her research by asking the questions, “How do you feel safe in the streets?” and “How do you feel joyful in the streets?” Many people had answers to the first question, as fear mediated their experiences, but only the children had ideas on strategies for joy. Lottie decided to apprentice herself to the children, and here she brings to us some of her research: joyfulness in the streets of Venice…

Llamo coartada ballardiana al mecanismo por el cuál algunos snobs, entre los cuáles me cuento, al practicar el vacacionismo de toda la vida (playa, sol y circo) nos convencemos de que en realidad estamos haciendo un ejercicio de observación cultural. Los demás, cuando se comen la paella con olor a crema, la disfrutan como cerdos y punto. Pero nosotros no, nosotros somos turistas cultos. Sabemos que existe una relación estrecha entre esa experiencia -por lo demás, super cutre- y el turismo de masas, la especulación inmobiliaria o la estética del cine costumbrista español de los sesenta; y somos conscientes de que echarse la siesta bajo la sombrilla o contemplar un atardecer ante el litoral urbanizado son actos con tanta densidad de referentes sociales, históricos y culturales como un tapiz flamenco del siglo XVI. Pero los demás no, porque son idiotas -los demás siempre lo son- y no han leído a J.G. Ballard ni nada de teoría cultural.
Clifford Geertz en su famoso librito “El antropólogo como autor” (1989) busca cuál es la clave del relato etnográfico y nos dice que no es su retórica factual, ni su argumentación teórica, ni su primoroso estilo, si no su capacidad para “convencernos de que lo que dicen es el resultado de haber podido penetrar (o si se prefiere, haber sido penetrados por) otra forma de vida, de haber, de un modo u otro, realmente “estado allí” (pág. 14). Es el diálogo del etnógrafo o de la etnógrafa con sus datos lo que da sentido al texto etnográfico. Lo que da sentido al relato de campo es el propio proceso de aprendizaje del autor.

… In recent years, close attention has been paid to the ways in which mobile phones in particular, and information and communication technologies (ICTs) in general, are redefining and reconstructing experiences and understandings of time and space (Castells 2000, Ling and Pedersen 2005, Maroon 2006). For many, the “perpetual contact” granted by mobile phones has been perceived as intrusive; various studies have reflected on the invasion of the public space with private talk, and argued that growing mobile phone use was leading to a decline of the public sphere and a correlated erosion of privacy (see the edited volume by Katz and Aakhus 2002). However, the “communication revolution” (Osborn 2008:317) currently underway in southern Mozambique appears to be occasioning quite the opposite by providing individuals with a level of privacy that many had never even dreamed of (see also Hahn and Kibora 2008, Ito 2005, and Maroon 2006). Indeed, local discourses are all about evaluating the mobile phone’s effects on intimate relationships. In Inhambane, like in most of sub-Saharan Africa, land-line infrastructure remains weakly developed and most people have passed “from no phone to cell phone” (Orlove 2005:699). As such, a mobile phone is not a better telecommunication tool; it is a tool that makes telecommunication possible often for the very first time, thus opening up entirely new spaces and possibilities.

In Inhambane, normative discourses paint a strict sexual division of courtship in which men are defined as the active players. They are the ones who have to demonstrate their interest and their worthiness to the women they like, while the latter are expected to feign complete disinterest. Before mobile phones, that is, only a few years ago, opportunities for young men and women to meet and flirt were rather limited and courtship was usually a mediated affair. Young men relied on family members or neighbours to make their interests in a woman known. Wedding negotiations were usually the preserve of fathers and uncles, thus excluding, at least to some extent, the couple concerned (Junod 1966). For those who preferred more direct communication, there was the possibility of sending love letters, but, as many recalled, the time delay was often demotivating. Young men would also “hunt” women by hanging out in the alleys leading to the market. Many still do. Being a public space, however, the alley offers serious restrictions as a courtship space. With the entry of mobile phones, courtship has become less mediated, more personal, much easier (in theory, at least) and, ultimately, more private. As Fakira, a young Mozambican man explained: “Before, when I wanted to talk to a girl I liked, I would risk getting beaten by her brothers or her boyfriend. Now, I just phone her!”

In a context where privacy is scarce and where discreetness is highly valued, the invisible realm of mobile telecommunication becomes invaluable to the consolidation and management of intimate relationships away from the gaze of family members, neighbours and other partners. As a result, relationships are consolidated, which might not have been, were it not for mobile phones. What is more, multiple relationships become easier to manage (cf. Horst and Miller 2006). Owing to the creation of this new space, endeavours to transcend the state of surveillance that characterises daily life become more successful, and the power relations reproduced through this control, more easily challenged. Like fences, however, phones often provide only a false sense of privacy. They might help conceal secrets, but they can as easily reveal them by providing proofs of unfaithfulness, through intercepted phone calls or text messages…

In a context where privacy is scarce and where discreetness is highly valued, the invisible realm of mobile telecommunication becomes invaluable to the consolidation and management of intimate relationships away from the gaze of family members, neighbours and other partners. As a result, relationships are consolidated, which might not have been, were it not for mobile phones. What is more, multiple relationships become easier to manage (cf. Horst and Miller 2006). Owing to the creation of this new space, endeavours to transcend the state of surveillance that characterises daily life become more successful, and the power relations reproduced through this control, more easily challenged. Like fences, however, phones often provide only a false sense of privacy. They might help conceal secrets, but they can as easily reveal them by providing proofs of unfaithfulness, through intercepted phone calls or text messages.

Table of Contents and Sample Chapters

Conventional wisdom about young people’s use of digital technology often equates generational identity with technology identity: today’s teens seem constantly plugged in to video games, social networks sites, and text messaging. Yet there is little actual research that investigates the intricate dynamics of youth’s social and recreational use of digital media. Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out fills this gap, reporting on an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings—at home, in after school programs, and in online spaces. By focusing on media practices in the everyday contexts of family and peer interaction, the book views the relationship of youth and new media not simply in terms of technology trends but situated within the broader structural conditions of childhood and the negotiations with adults that frame the experience of youth in the United States.

Integrating twenty-three different case studies—which include Harry Potter podcasting, video-game playing, music-sharing, and online romantic breakups—in a unique collaborative authorship style, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Outis distinctive for its combination of in-depth description of specific group dynamics with conceptual analysis.

This book was written as a collaborative effort by members of the Digital Youth Project, a three-year research effort funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California.