Hi All,

Please join us tomorrow for the last Change Seminar of the quarter.  Ted
McCarthy will be joining us to discuses a concept he is calling
"micro-ethnography" and how important it is to user design and research -
particular in an ICTD context.  In this seminar Ted will discuses how the
ability to "just watch something"  should be given the respect it deserves
in academic research, undergrad and graduate coursework, industry research
job postings and resumes, and beyond.

*What: *Learning to Observe: Making (Micro-) Ethnography Great Again
*Who: *Ted McCarthy
*When: *Tuesday May 30
*Where: *12pm in CSE 203

*Short Description:*
"Ethnography" is a term sparingly used in technology research these days,
and for good reason: to some of us, it may sound "fluffy", and to others,
intimidating. For many, the term itself evokes images of overly-bearded
Indian Jones-types "going native" on remote Pacific islands, and there's a
seemingly-pervasive fear that to say "I do ethnography" is to invite
criticism from anyone who "really" does ethnography. And while terms like
"rapid ethnography" have been bandied about to overcome some of these
hurdles, that process itself is generally described as a *process; *it's
usually something referred to as taking up days or weeks, not seconds or
minutes interspersed throughout a day in the field.

But it doesn't have to be this way! I argue for the reinstatement and
rethought of the value of observation, a long-neglected tool in the
qualitative researcher's toolbelt. What I'm calling "micro-ethnography" is
especially valuable in international development contexts, where other
research methods, like interviews and surveys, fall short under the dual
constraints of language and cultural differences. The ability and
desire to *just
watch something* is increasingly rare in our rapidly accelerating world,
but it's as important as ever, and should be given the respect it deserves
in academic research, undergrad and graduate coursework, industry research
job postings and resumes, and beyond. We'll look as a variety of examples
from journalism, literature, documentary filmmaking, and more to tease out
lessons from these diverse fields with an aim to improve our own work.


*Bio:*

Ted McCarthy is a user researcher who has worked on early-stage projects in
"emerging markets" for the past several years, having apparently now drunk
the industry kool-aid and adopted its parlance. He's spent the last ~1.5
years contracting with Google to conduct research on several hardware &
software network products related to internet speed & access in developing
countries, and before that was a UX consultant in healthcare and beyond.
Ted spent several years in academia at the universities of Michigan and
Washington, where he worked on accessibility and health projects in
developing countries. He now lives in San Francisco, where he dearly misses
Seattle's gorgeous mountains and delicious beers, but in no way its rain.
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