Fads, Trends, and Being Relevant Over the Long Haul

Staying on top of social and cultural change is difficult. It requires thoughtful observation, reflection, and the ability to connect dots that may go unnoticed in many cases. Similarly, being able to distinguish a trend from a short-lived fit of social interest can make the difference between a meaningful campaign or marketing platform, and a […]

The Business of Language and the Language of Business

Entering the world of business is a significant challenge for an anthropologist.  There are questions about the moral ambiguity and exploitative nature of the capitalist system.  There are concerns about the relationship between industrialized nations and the indigenous populations that invariably produce the goods that are sold.  There is the internal debate over globalization and […]

Design Always Has A Message

Design always has a message. Design always has a meaning. And that means design, regardless of medium, is always a shared experience that requires interpretation. Why it matters is that it turns design into a semiotic exercise, open to structure and refinement based in analysis rather than an arbitrary point of view. Of course, that […]

Using Key Words to Build Better Insights

There is a essential link between the shared life of a society and the lexicon of the language spoken by it. Language is frequently understood by researchers in strings of utterances rather than individual lexical components.  There is, of course, nothing wrong with that, but it does limit how we analyze and interpret what people […]

3 Things to ALWAYS consider in your fieldwork

There are always too many things to think about in the field. So the key to making it work out is to categorize and develop a model before you go out.  This model will, of course, be different for everyone but these are three buckets that usually help people ground their research. NORMS Cultural norms […]