Sunday, October 24, 2010
I believe a few others voiced this opinion in a different context, but I agree nonetheless that this week's readings really helped put work in other courses into perspective. As most of us know all too well, assignment 2 in INF1001 (due last week) was to analyze Susan Leigh Star's article "The Ethnography of Infrastructure" (American Behavioral Scientist, 43.3 (1999): 377-391). One of the questions that seemed to be coming up frequently among other INF1001 students I spoke to was "ok, so what exactly IS the ethnography of infrastructure?" Indeed, in Star's article it is very difficult to tell what her methodology really is, despite the fact that she suggests that methodology is the focus of her entire paper. It was nice to have readings this week that looked at ethnography from different angles, and especially to read Luker's distinction between full-fledged ethnography on the one side and participant observer on the other, to actually get a sense of how ethnography can be carried out, and, more importantly, in relation to Star's article at least, what constitutes doing ethnography and what doesn't.