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THEME BY PISTACHI-O
Torvarken is three headed ethnographic beast. And she's curious.

We’ll be posting ethnographic sparks and fuel that feeds our curious minds, so expect internship connections, current events, inspirations and methodological whatnot.

Let's talk about people and things.

gmb akash documents the 350 kilometre journey from dhaka to sylhet, bangladesh made by those who, unable to afford the price of a ticket or find room to ride inside, risk death by traveling atop and between train cars




Diamond rings. A symbol of love, status, ownership, etc. Beyonce tells all the Single Ladies to, “put a ring on it”. In the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, it is infamously stated that, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. Thanks to Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, we get an updated, colourful rendition singing us the same ol’ tune. Good work, Nicole. In this little piece, Diamonds Are a Sham And It’s Time We Stop Getting Engaged To Them, we are given a short briefing as to why diamonds are “bullshit”. 

Diamond rings. A symbol of love, status, ownership, etc. 

Beyonce tells all the Single Ladies to, “put a ring on it”. In the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, it is infamously stated that, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. Thanks to Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, we get an updated, colourful rendition singing us the same ol’ tune. Good work, Nicole. 

In this little piece, Diamonds Are a Sham And It’s Time We Stop Getting Engaged To Them, we are given a short briefing as to why diamonds are “bullshit”. 




Anthropology Inc. 

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…or ReD plug? You decide. 




UX Lx: User Experience Lisbon 

Torvarken likey!

Grab some user-experience inspiration from the Researchers/Books from this event’s website!

http://www.ux-lx.com/





I believe that zoos have the ability to function as incredible research and educational institutions, but more often than not, the animals are put on as a spectacle and the educational aspect seems to be lacking. I always leave feeling a mix of awe and depression from these places.




Freelancer growth giving rise to 'slasher' careers 

Interesting article on the growth of freelance and the shift in what ‘having a career’ means: “No one I know has a job anymore. They’ve got gigs.”




CLASSROOM PORTRAITS, by Julian Germain

…the power of the images is in their direct connection to the viewer. We remember our own schooldays and wonder what happened to our own classmates. By presenting different pupils, different schools, different year groups, Germain asks questions about contemporary educational practices and social divisions. Already we can imagine the life trajectories of some of these young people. Here are faces full of hope and promise. Here also, is the silent threat of failure. Aspiration competes with apathy…
 

Tom Shakespeare. Archive Magazine, October 2005

Julian Germain offers a glimpse of classrooms around the world. A wonderful photography series. What did your classroom look like? How will the classrooms of the future look like? 




Food is the new sex, drugs and religion. 

The author, clearly fed up with the foodie trend, offers an interesting analysis of the role of food in popular culture.  

If you can’t watch cooking on TV or in front of your face, you can at least read about it. Vast swaths of the internet have been taken over by food bloggers who post photographs of what they have eaten from an edgy street stall or at an aspirational restaurant, and compose endlessly scrollable pseudo-erotic paeans to its stimulating effects.

I don’t agree with all of his opinions (“One can of course think philosophically about food, as about anything at all, but that is not what is going on in our mainstream gastroculture.”) which reveal more than just his irritation with the movement, but clearly subjective ideas of which interests are ‘worthy’ or valuable.  What makes a hobby ‘good’ or ‘bad’? I’d reckon it’s about as subjective as one’s personal tastes for ‘good’ food. 

I liked how he ID’d the progression of food’s agency in pop culture, but his derision for the foodie trend, calling it hipster and less-than-subtley implying cultish followings, comes off as hypocritical: Ugh, hipsters and their food, that’s so mainstream. C’mon.

Am I biased? Maybe. I wrote my Master thesis on food allergies and mainstream food culture—but I don’t think it’s a productive exercise to try to pin down ‘good’ or ‘bad’ tastes—in food or culture.  
Much more interesting and relevant is recognizing the food phenomenon and understanding WHY. People are increasingly invested -emotionally, economically, philosphically even- in what’s on their plates. SOMETHING is happening here. Why, why now, what are the implications? 
Food communicates. We say something when/where/how we eat. And in a time where we can share that connotative food-thought (micro-blogging gold), I think there’s potential in food as a kind of cultural short-hand.

It’s fascinating and neither good nor bad.

TL;DR: it’s in interesting read and really got me thinking—what do you think? 




In Business, Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast  

Recent article on the importance (and implications) of corporate culture.
Torvarken sees big potential for ethnography in organizations, excited to see business agreeing: 

Strategy is often a primary focus in business schools; however, culture is less understood. Culture involves a variety of contributing factors including a blend of attitudes, beliefs, mission, philosophy, and momentum that help to create and sustain a successful brand. It represents the vision, norms, symbols, beliefs, behaviors and traditions that are taught to new members of an organization. Organizational culture affects the way employees within an organization interact with one another and the people they serve.

Want to know more on the topic, check out our go-to theorists Barbara Czarniawska, champion of organizational storytelling.




Writing on Writing 

Writing on Writing

As you read the effortless and insightful prose of the luminaries in your discipline, do you ever wonder how they do it? We certainly have, and as part of the Writing Across Boundaries project, we decided to ask them.

Ah, the writing process. An aspect of social science research that you love to love or love to forget. Staring at that blank .doc file, you’re inspired and ready to take this file to the printers at first light. Or, you wonder how you can make your prose (more) engaging, concise, and insightful. Writing Across Boundaries is a fantastic resource dedicated to supporting social science researchers in their quest to produce such texts. 

Writing on Writing, thanks for being there.