While I am not an active leader within this group (because let’s face it, I have *too* much on my plate), I will be participating in it and I think it is a great initiative! This is the group that came of of a BoF session at EPIC that I wrote about here.
This is an email sent out (and re-posted with permission) by Amy Goldmacher:
This is an invitation for any interested parties to join a Google group dedicated to strengthening the relationship between industry and academia. This group was conceived at the EPIC 2007 “Birds of a Feather” session and we are calling it Ethnographic Praxis (EP). The Google group will be the virtual space for communication (and we are open to suggestions on how best to maintain a robust resource and connection for EP). You will not receive a glut of emails from us; we will post items to the group page so that you can check at your leisure. To join, please email me directly at solidgoldmacher [at] gmail [dot] com and I will send you an invitation to the Google group.
To date, we have come up with the following four action items:
1. Define the purpose of the Ethnographic Praxis (EP) Google group as: a space for people from any discipline who are interested in transitioning from academic ethnography to the practice of ethnography in industry, including students who want to work outside academia and practitioners who have a vested interest in helping train and provide opportunities for future practitioners.
2. Create a topical interest group (TIG) within EPIC to focus on facilitating the relationship between academia and industry.
3. Develop a set of ethnographic standards (to be defined) that has EPIC’s “seal of approval” for ethnographers who want to get more experience in classical anthropological methods.
4. Organize and advertise in-person meetings and/or sessions at other non-EPIC conferences dealing with issues of the practice of ethnography.
And three news items:
1. For those who are attending the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) meeting in Memphis, we will arrange an informal session at the conference for any interested parties to participate in furthering the purpose of EP and plan for EPIC 2008 (time and place information to follow). We also encourage people from other disciplines attending other conferences in the near future to organize opportunities to connect—it would be great to do this in multiple disciplines.
2. Also at SfAA, please consider attending a two-part workshop called “Ethnography in the Corporation” on Friday, 3/28 led by Gitte Jordan and Julia Gluesing. Part I will explore how corporate projects differ from academic investigations and examine how industrial researchers adapt conventional anthropological methods to the different circumstances and requirements that arise in business settings. It also will include do’s and don’ts about negotiating client relationships and presenting findings to clients. Part II is a simulation designed to give participants the opportunity to apply through case examples and exercises the methods and best practices they learned in Part I.
3. Mark Dawson of Ethnography.com recently announced that Jennifer Jones of California State University-Fresno is the first student to be awarded a matching travel grant to attend the 2008 EPIC in Denmark. This year the grant was non-competitive and awarded by recommendation of Fresno State faculty members. It is hoped that this grant will be an annual event and be awarded on a competitive basis next year, and that other partnerships between industry and academia will develop!
We look forward to productive communication in the Ethnographic Praxis group!
Amy Goldmacher, Wayne State University
Marlo Jenkins, Wayne State University
Christine Miller, Savannah College of Art and Design
Jim Mullooly, California State University-Fresno
Melissa Zlatow, Arizona State University