standardization

Doing Ethnography in AirSpace: The Promise and Danger of ‘Frictionless’ Global Research

TOM HOY Stripe Partners ‘AirSpace’, according to Kyle Chayka, is the increasingly homogenized experience of the western(ized) business traveller, driven by major tech platforms (including Google, Airbnb and Uber.) As international travellers, ethnographers must account for the impact of AirSpace on their research practice. After delineating the concept of AirSpace the paper posits three dangers ethnographers must negotiate: (1) The cost of control: AirSpace offers researchers control, but can narrow the scope of research (2) The risk of superficiality: AirSpace provides shortcuts to cultural understanding, but can limit deeper comprehension (3) The assumption of equivalence: AirSpace provides shared reference points, but can create the illusion of equivelance with research subjects. By exploring these three dangers the paper invites readers to reflect on their own research practice and consider how to utilize the benefits of these platforms while mitigating the issues outlined....

A Dirty Perspective On A World Too Clean

LINE GROES Is It a Bird EMILIE STUHR ANDERSEN Is It a Bird PechaKucha Presentation We live in a world where we tend to categorize, quantify and measure a wide array of everyday aspects - from kWh consumption in our homes to Facebook-likes. We argue that this urge to categorize and standardize is problematic as we run the risk of oversimplifying reality. Based on an ethnographic field study of what a ‘clean journey’ means to train passengers we illustrate the gap between the Danish Railroad Company's cleaning standards and passenger experiences. By contrasting these standards with passenger experiences and attitudes we answer the question: What is left out, when service providers decide to categorize and measure lived reality? We suggest that rather than ‘cleaning up’ the complexities of human nature and perception, we must recognize and embrace them and find ways to integrate them into our categories and standards. Line Groes is the CEO and founder of IS IT A BIRD – A strategic innovation agency based in Denmark....