A glimpse into the sociology student culture in Germany… Here is how sociology students at the Humboldt University in Berlin advertised their first semester party a few days ago:
Welcome to the portable e-soapbox of a sociologist with too much time on her hands. Milena Kremakova is fascinated by too many things and refuses to devote her time single-mindedly to any one pursuit. In this column she gives voice to one of her thinking selves: that of a perpetual traveller comfortably stuck between the positions of outsider and insider, geared to discover the unusual even in the most mundane setting, and always having something to say (or show). She pledges to irregulary scribble thin, unabashedly empirical quasi-ethnographic observations, loosely driven by pre-developed concepts, while promiscuously recycling insights from sociological theories.
Sometimes she tweets short thoughts as @idlEthnographer.
In 2007-2009, I did over 50 interviews with Bulgarian maritime workers. I wanted to study the post-socialist transformations of institutions and practices of maritime labour – and how those changes affected the working lives of seafarers and other maritime workers…. Read More ›
I recently learnt that among the rules that Orthodox Jews observe is not tattooing their skin. This made sense initially and I thought that the reason was the forceful branding of people in concentration camps. However, the prohibition is in… Read More ›
Today I made my first (short) phone call entirely in German. It wasn’t easy, so I’m proud! The first thing is, I really dislike talking on the phone, regardless of language and conversation partner (though talking in a language I… Read More ›
Being editor is great. You get to impose things you love on the readers! Just joking. But, in all honesty, whether you are a Big Bang Theory fan or not, this is a lovely, useful, and inspiring commencement speech. Dr… Read More ›
Today I stumbled across an interesting biographical account by Sarah Burton, sociology postgraduate researcher, entitled The Accidental Sociologist. Sarah writes that she – as, it seems, a great many other sociologists – ended up in sociology ‘by chance’. She wonders… Read More ›
Happy birthday, Idle Ethnographer! 27 July 2012: 13 again 2008: TWENTY-SEVEN. Grown up… Not quite. PhD… Someday. Research. Teaching. Library. Doubts. Fallibility. Rise-ability. Responsibility. Conferences. Articles. Academic matrix. Tired, bored, fed up. Escapism. Creative writing workshops. Photography. Colours, angles,… Read More ›
Today the world celebrates the incredibly important, yet often overlooked, contribution of seafarers to our daily lives. This address by the president of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) reminds us that our modern lives without seafarers’ labour would be unthinkable… Read More ›
A new video of an old talk by philosopher Alan Watts (1915-1973) perfectly illustrates the falsity of the quantitative vs qualitative sociology divide:
In this episode, a sneaky ethnographer of East European origin embarks on a quest to deconstruct one of Britain’s informal institutions: The Local Bank Holiday Sunday Car Boot Sale. Below are her unabridged and unabashed field-notes. Rather than participant observation, this… Read More ›
SI Top 10 #1 – A Mexican, a Kiwi and a Nigerian walk into a bar… a dose of (sociological) Xmas humour
Over the rest of 2011, we’ll be reposting the 10 most popular SI articles in the 1 1/2 years we’ve been around, in preparation for lots of new stuff next year. Here’s #1 – enjoy! You are not seriously checking… Read More ›
As sociologists, we deal with a wide range of empirical and philosophical phenomena, but their scope, in universal terms, is quite narrow: locked somewhere between the individual human and the whole of humanity. With this in mind, the Idle Ethnographer… Read More ›
Right, we are going to do something different today. It’s called a Reality Check.
This week I came across two very different works of art which nevertheless have something important in common: they both aim to transcend the shackles of linear time and peak into another historic period with the help of artistic (and… Read More ›
Even sociologists run out of words sometimes during the weekend. Here are a few images the Idle Ethnographer took at the peaceful camp in front of St Paul’s Cathedral in London on 22 October 2011:
In this article, Kristen Howerton unveils some of the secrets behind Haloween treats (and other chocolate). What happens in the modern globalised world is that the products that we consume often have extremely long ‘trails’ about which the ordinary consumer… Read More ›