Amy Goldmacher Sf Aa

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Amy Goldmacher Sf Aa

  1. 1. Media Research in Applied Anthropology Society for Applied Anthropology Wednesday, March 28, 2007
  2. 2. Session Format <ul><li>Introduction to session: Media Research in Applied Anthropology </li></ul><ul><li>Presentations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Amy Goldmacher, Wayne State </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diane Pawlowski, Wayne State </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Themes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Methods to consider and use from Anthropology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methods to consider and use from other disciplines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Roundtable discussion </li></ul>
  3. 3. Virtually an Anthropologist: Negotiating Distributed Work <ul><li>by </li></ul><ul><li>Amy Goldmacher, </li></ul><ul><li>PhD Candidate </li></ul><ul><li>Wayne State University </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Anthropology </li></ul>
  4. 4. Virtually An Anthropologist <ul><li>How to conduct research project on distributed work? </li></ul><ul><li>How to conduct a remote project remotely? </li></ul><ul><li>How to research technology use in remote settings? </li></ul><ul><li>What other methods should be considered? </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Role of Culture in Managing Change in a Global Auto. Co. <ul><li>Design a project using anthropological theory and methods </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural ecology (Steward 1955): differences in work groups created and maintained by complex relationships among diverse populations (Baba 1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Change directed from the top down assumes organizational similarity </li></ul>
  6. 6. Design and Methods <ul><li>Global Automotive (GA) undergoing several concurrent significant changes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional reorganization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Info. Tech. Svcs. (ITS) separation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Change Management (CM) team (part of ITS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 members </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participant observation (n=7) and informal interviews (n=3) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work group interdependencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational cultural beliefs or values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How culture enables or inhibits change </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Findings <ul><li>Interdependence of individuals, work groups, and work processes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination is important for connecting parts of org. system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One part of system cannot be changed without affecting rest of the system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cultural beliefs and values: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflicting models mean no shared understanding about org. values across groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differences in beliefs constrain implementation of change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting implementation of change will be unique to discrete groups because each work group and local work context is different </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Levels of Culture Occupational Organizational National
  9. 9. Limitations of the Study <ul><li>Not embedded in research context </li></ul><ul><li>Project constrained by pace and content of academic course </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicting demands of CM team’s goals, methods, time, and budget </li></ul><ul><li>Small sample size of study population </li></ul><ul><li>Additional methods and analytical techniques would complement anthropological approach (and be more obvious to client) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Virtually an Anthropologist <ul><li>Listserv: Anthrodesign </li></ul><ul><li>“ Members share common interest of applying ethnographic techniques and social sciences theory to industrial, software, and other types of product design” </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion on “remote methods” </li></ul>
  11. 11. “ Remote” Methods <ul><li>Digital photos </li></ul><ul><li>Remote screen sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Online usage diaries </li></ul><ul><li>“ Casting participants as storytellers of their own narrative” - e.g., the $17 haircut </li></ul><ul><li>“ in the process of moving from a work around to a distinct research medium with its own conventions, strengths, weaknesses, and methods” </li></ul><ul><li>How you do it (method) vs. when and why you do it (theory) </li></ul><ul><li>“ the more technological fields (HCI, product design) seem to be exploring remote or technologically-mediated methods” </li></ul>
  12. 12. “ The Virtual Ethnographer” <ul><li>Ruhleder (2000)’s description of two studies of technology-mediated work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New work practices around shared online databases and video teleconferencing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnographers needed to develop technical competence in database </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Videotaping of videoconferences at multiple sites to capture multi-sited event </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual classroom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Participating in virtual forums </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Analyzing text archives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Dull” videos, but useful when participants “think aloud” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Call for “strong practice around virtual ethnography ” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Ethnographers on the Run: Working with the Working Press? <ul><li>by </li></ul><ul><li>Diane R. Pawlowski, PhD </li></ul><ul><li>Wayne State University </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Anthropology </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Why don’t reporters quote more anthropologists? </li></ul><ul><li>Why don’t they see anthropologists as “experts”? </li></ul><ul><li>Why aren’t anthropologists recognized for our important research and knowledge ? </li></ul>Why the interdisciplinary ill-will?
  15. 15. What can we teach, learn from each other? <ul><li>Need to finally recognize similar methods </li></ul><ul><li>Both try giving voice to the voiceless </li></ul><ul><li>When Anthropology fails to communicate… </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropology’s voice: muffled ? </li></ul><ul><li>Informants’ voices: stilled & lost </li></ul>
  16. 16. Provocative Anthropology-Journalism Parallels <ul><li>Both writing disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Journalists write to pay the rent </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropologists write to pay academic dues </li></ul><ul><li>Is this difference why we cloak our findings, almost hiding them from the general public? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we fear only unlucky students, reviewers and editors ever read what we write? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Anthropology’s hidden role teaching journalists <ul><li>After Introductory, Cultural Anthropology courses: </li></ul><ul><li>Reporters: cultural trend spotters </li></ul><ul><li>Feature writers: find, test, document new words </li></ul><ul><li>Once written, new language enters the lexicon </li></ul><ul><li>Their villages: our cities, businesses, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Reporters: ethnographers on the run </li></ul>
  18. 18. Finding new keys to open anthropological writing <ul><li>Nurture relationships with journalists </li></ul><ul><li>Initiate joint collaborative projects </li></ul><ul><li>Reporting: “history on the run”? No way! </li></ul><ul><li>… it’s ethnography on the run </li></ul>
  19. 19. A brief self-examination of anthropological conscience <ul><li>Interviewing make interviewers uncomfortable </li></ul><ul><li>No, they’re not doing it our way…but could we learn to be better ethnographers from reporters? </li></ul><ul><li>Working press & Working anthropologists share worlds of editors, deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>No, we are not “consummate experts!” </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropology does NOT have all the answers, but we can help reporters find good solutions </li></ul>
  20. 20. Lessons anthropologists need to learn <ul><li>Reporters work on deadline: </li></ul><ul><li>they love scientists who will help them </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropologists refusing access cause harm </li></ul><ul><li>to cities, to individuals, to our discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration and trusting relationships help </li></ul><ul><li>both disciplines build a better world </li></ul>
  21. 21. Open Discussion <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Methods of data collection and analysis to consider and use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ experimental” or “remote” methods? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when and why? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other disciplines’ methods? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Global insecurities, global solutions, and applied anthropology in the 21st century”? </li></ul>

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