The Full Epiphany

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PechaKucha Presentation—The Full Epiphany suggests that epiphanies are the real metric for ethnographic success. An epiphany is an out of this world understanding for how humanity works. When you have an epiphany you might simultaneously feel the following: 1) believe you see something so seemingly obvious that you can’t believe you never saw it before, 2) find yourself saying “my head just blew off” or “my mind just exploded” or make that motion where you put your fists up to your head then slowly move them into the air opening them palm first and make that silly explosion sound, and/or 3) leaves you breathless and at peace and thankful for getting just a peek into the ethereal elegance for how life on earth works. The Full Epiphany suggests that the first ethnographies (think Malinowski and Mead) had built in success factors for reaching epiphanies, and that the current level of epiphanies is lower. Our ability to reach an epiphany, however, has not disappeared. So what do we do to bring our epiphanies back to full steam? The Full Epiphany is based on doing ethnographic work across academia, business and study-abroad (as student and professor).

Robbie Blinkoff and his wife did their dissertation research in Papua New Guinea, and then created Context-Based Research Group in 1999. Robbie also teaches at Goucher College where he built The Pocket Anthropologist—a mobile project to help students have a more transformative experience while studying abroad.

2016 Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, p. 552, ISSN 1559-8918,


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