Skip to content

Category Archives: Applied Anthropology

Film ‘Local Hero’ (1983) Resonates with the Land and Resource Disputes of Today

I saw an incredible film called Local Hero during a trip away from home in August. It is the story of a man from a Texas oil company sent to Scotland to buy up all of the property on an ocean bay for the construction of an oil refinery. It is presumed by the company […]

Double Ended, No Headed Moose and More from Congress

I had a great time at Congress10 in Montreal last week. More properly, I attended the meetings of the Canadian Anthropology Association (CASCA) which happened to be meeting with Congress. As previously noted, I was part of a round-table discussion of applied anthropology. Our panel discussed the following, pre-distributed questions: 1) What questions are being […]

Canadian Anthropology Meetings (CASCA)

I’ll be attending the Canadian Anthropology Society meetings (CASCA) next week. I am part of a round-table discussion on practicing (applied) anthropology. From the session abstract: This roundtable is aimed at sparking a dialogue with/between anthropologists who are practising largely outside academia or within academia but within a largely applied context … The roundtable will […]

Public Discussions of Hunting Protests in Northern BC

One of my summer projects is to learn more about public attitudes towards indigenous rights in British Columbia. I am also looking for current examples of the stigmas and stereotypes associated with indigenous hunting by non-native people (Figure 2, in which foraging is confused with pastoralism, for example). Conveniently, events surrounding a blockade in Tahltan […]

Why Computers Can’t Kill Post-Its

From there are an estimated several hundred ethnographers in the country looking at the specific ways that workers handle “personal information,” like calendars and contact information.

GPS Tools

On the heels of my less-than-well-researched post about a free topographical map site — Ed pointed out how to get scanned versions of Canadian National Topographic Series (NTS) maps in the comments — let me point you to a terrific site for uploading GPS tracks and logs and plotting those tracks against all sorts of […]

Corporate Anthropology and the Anthropologist as Pain-in-the-Butt

In his recent post titled “The Rise of Corporate Anthropology” (Harvard Business Online), Tom Davenport discusses the value of using anthropological methods in the corporate world. I am drawn particularly to his observation that anthropology and anthropologists can be difficult: Of course, it’s not easy. Anthropologists can be a pain in the butt. They will […]

Nokia Cell Phone Researcher on TED

A presentation by Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase is now available on His talk is about cell phones and how to design the cell phones of the future. He asks why, regardless of culture, do people usually carry with them keys, money, and a cellphone. Some of Chipchase’s anecdotes come from observing cell phone users […]

The Ethnography of Chewing Gum Chewers?

Fast Company magazine, famous for its early coverage of corporate anthropology*, has a short piece this month (subscription may be required) on the research that went into Wrigley’s new gum ‘5’. The descriptions of the participant-observation research are fantastic: The development of 5 came out of a management edict to make a splash among image-conscious […]

Shell’s Exploration Efforts Curtailed in Northwestern BC

After blocking Royal Dutch Shell’s access to their hunting grounds on August 21, Tahltan elders have won a temporary court victory. Shell has postponed their injunction application indefinitely. This is the third summer in a row that Shell has tried to move into the Klappan region of northwestern BC. They own the permits to explore […]