Norwegian anthropologist Christian Stokke has published his thesis "Unlearning White Superiority. Consciousness-raising on an online Rastafari Reasoning Forum" in full length. From his introduction:
The ensuing interracial dialogues on racism are the main focus of my thesis. Most whites define racism as prejudice and discrimination, and suggest good intentions and “colorblindness” as a solution, while Blacks define it in terms of group dominance, structural inequality and cultural hegemony. Black Rastas point out that whites tend to show dominating behavior in the discussions, and see this as a reflection of a “white superiority complex.” Black Rastas consistently confront whites and hold them responsible for their conduct, although it is usually unintended and unconscious. Through this confrontation, many whites become aware of their taken-for-granted ‘white privilege’ and start “unlearning white superiority.”
Ethan Zuckerman, Global Voices
The BBC has a long tradition of encouraging readers and listeners of their Africa service to talk about their views of the continent. BBC is going a step further, looking for people with interesting stories to tell, arming them with digital cameras and encouraging them to get posting. >> continue to Global Voices (many links to recommended blogs!)
(via Putting People First) Worldchanging has "tracked projects that use new technologies to empower indigenous cultural survival -- from digital applications using Inuktitut, the Inuit native language, to the Aboriginal Mapping Project, which harnesses the power of GIS to help indigenous peoples manage their lands and resources, to the networked reindeer tracking of Saami Networked Connectivity Project". Additionally, they point to the latest volume of Cultural Survival Quarterly. It is devoted to Indigenous Peoples Bridging the Digital Divide. Much to read! >> continue to Worldchanging
PS: Worldchanging is a blog devoted to "Models, Tools, and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future" and Dina Mehta (Conversations with Dina) is one of the contributers
(via Fieldnotes): Ethnomusicologist Aaron Fox has set up a website and blog as an "extension of the book": "I'm not going to republish the book on the site, but the book deals so much with sound that I had to make it possible for people to hear the music", he explains and adds: "I also really wanted to be able to interact with readers -- as we are doing now! Seems to me this is just the most under-used capacity of the web as an adjunct to traditional publishing. It's not like academic books sell in the tens of thousands, so it seems perfectly reasonable and possible to enter into a real dialogue with serious readers."
Anthropologist Tad McIlwraith on Fieldnotes comments: "I think about this in the context of my work with First Nations people and wonder if I could convince them to allow their actual voices to be found in files on my website. I think my work would be enhanced if they’d agree to that."
Aaron Fox' book is called Real County: Music and Language in Working Class Culture and is according to Tad McIlwraith "a fantastic ethnography".
Hadi Ansari, OhmyNews International
Only four years have passed since Hossein Derakhshan, Iran's leading blogger and Internet activist, published a guide to making a weblog in Persian. Now the influence of weblogs has spread to every aspect of Iranian people's daily lives. Farsi has become the third most prominent language of bloggers on the Net, despite the fact that Farsi speakers around the world number just 100 million (including Afghans and Tajiks who speak Farsi). >> continue
Anthropologist Dina Mehta
Today, I believe that no crisis on this scale or magnitude will ever be handled again without sms, blogs, and wikis. That social tools will become a natural extension of rapid adaptation to chaotic conditions. While traditional media was doing its job, the World Wide Web was engaged in reaching people in ways that traditional media was not - by speaking in real voices, in real time - creating this huge wave of empathy, solidarity and action. Apart from the speed of dissemination of information, the blog also had a 'face' - people had access and could call or email. As a result, lowering barriers to getting information. Technology with Heart. >> continue
The Internet Gift Culture
Some days ago, anthropologist Kerim Friedman wrote about Armchair Anthropology in the Cyber Age?: "I predict that we will slowly see the return of the “armchair anthropologists” Malinowski so famously dethroned." The reason: "The web offers a tremendous, and ever growing database of lived experience."
The newspaper Age (Australia) writes more about the ongoing trend to gather research data online:
"Researchers around the world are tapping into the global reach of the internet as never before, seeking answers to a wide variety of topics, including: humour at the office, drug abuse, religious beliefs, parenting styles, mother-daughter relationships, human mate selection, extramarital affairs, fascination with celebrity and sexual boredom.
Anthropologist Daniel Fessler knows how to spice up the titles for his studies to lure web surfers. Last year, he posted a study on physical attractiveness online with the alluring title Are They Hot or Not? buried among others with titles such as Development of Gender Concepts in Infancy.
Praising online surveys over face-to-face Fessler says: "We don't need people to engage in a lot of attempts to make a good impression, we need them to provide us with honest responses."
(Fessler's answer doens't sound convincing. It's not that easy. The rules are the same in the online- and the offline-world. Without a good relationship to your informants you can't write a good ethnography)
Armchair Anthropology in the Cyber Age?