Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Ethnographic Rubber Meets the Cross-Cultural Road

Members of our 2011 CLAM contingent are either now on the field across the globe, or are soon to depart for their fields of study. The student blogs will begin to be even more rich in critical cultural insights in teh coming weeks. The blogs to be posted in the next week will be an introspective self-portrait of the students' own cultural landscapes - as seen by outsiders. An informed and critical investigation of another culture requires a "de-familiarization" of one's own cultural identity in order to see new cultures apart from a limiting "terministic screen" of assumptions and biases.

I recommend here a video from Adaptive Path's 2010 UX Week. This talk by Anthropologist and Kansas State professor Michael Wesch is valuable for several reasons: his personal recounting of cultural immersion, his attention to the way the practice of writing (techne) shaped the culture of a pre-literate society, and his illustration of the dynamic nature of culture. You can learn a lot - for no extra charge - from this supplemental video!

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