Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Digital Selves and Distributed Agency: Redefining the Subject of Ethnography


Cite this article:

2019 EPIC Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918,

PechaKucha Presentation

Digital identities are key to almost all aspects of life today. What happens when digital identities grow beyond just being partial, one-dimensional representations of us, but become fully autonomous digital selves who can act on our behalf. Who or what will be the target for businesses trying to capture new customers, and what does that mean for our work as business anthropologists? Through practical examples, I take the audience through a thinking exercise and argue that future ethnographic practice needs to get beyond defending its own domain, open up and seek collaboration with many more disciplines that can complement our work as ethnographers.

Gunes Kocabag is a researcher and strategic designer. She has worked with multi-disciplinary teams in projects across industries, and led research expeditions in Europe, Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia, to develop new services, user experiences and business models that provide sustainable value for business and society.