Advancing the Value of Ethnography

In Search of Cultural Entropy: A Call for New Frameworks of Analysis


Cite this article:

“In Search of Cultural Entropy: A Call for New Frameworks of Analysis,” Gunes Kocabag. 2023 EPIC Proceedings p 27, ISSN 1559-8918

In this PechaKucha, I explore the tension between an increasingly interconnected global culture and our premise as ethnographers to focus on the culturally specific and make sense of the uniqueness of “local” cultures. I pose the questions what does “local” mean in our contemporary world where experiences, lifestyles, influences, aspirations are all seemingly converging towards a global norm. Through historical perspectives and some inspiration from the science of physics, I demonstrate that plural diversities are only visible based on the frames we use to observe them. The rise of a global culture is challenging our existing frameworks of analysis and there is tremendous opportunity in this unavoidable friction for us ethnographers to help society and business rethink how we make sense of our world.

Gunes Kocabag is an anthropologist/designer with 14 years of global experience designing human-centered solutions and capacity building in complex stakeholder environments. She has worked with companies, governments, funders, and I/NGOs in humanitarian and development spaces on topics covering healthcare, disability, GBV, financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, HR, climate adaptation, among others.


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