This TEDxBroadway talk by Ellen Isaacs provides some great examples of how ethnography can be useful for practical, modern problem-solving. Anthropologists haven’t been very successful at changing the mainstream image of our profession; when critics see it as a useless study, I think they have images of Margaret Mead or The Gods Must Be Crazy in their heads, but anthropology provides a toolkit that is valuable in many situations. In this 12 minute video, Isaacs talks about ethnography’s use in interface design and also her recent studies of parking.
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