Tuesday, April 29, 2003


Kindly passed along by Edel is the INCITE blog. "INCITE is an Incubator for Critical Inquiry into Technology and Ethnography. It is based in the Sociology Department at the University of Surrey. Here, INCITE's bevy of researchers report on matters methodological and theoretical, and discuss their various research projects as they progress."

Directed by Nina Wakeford, INCITE is, of course, up to some interesting things. Check out the AESOP Project (Applied Ethnographic Studies of Practice) funded by Sapient, and The Making of Mobility, The Making of the Self is a particularly interesting report.

Also: the Intel-funded Urban Mobilities Project

Technological develpoments appear to be leading to a decline in the importance of place. Many future visions about technology suggest that information will be 'any time', any place' hence making location irrelevant. However, the use of mobile devices in specific urban spaces and the heavy use of cybercafes by those who might log on elsewhere suggests that the experience of location is central in the consumption of digital content. The research is also motivated by Intel's interest in 'other geographies' outside the United States.

The research will be conducted via a qualitative study of spaces in London in which people consume information, including digital content. The urban sites chosen will be selected via public transport routes to enable the tracking of individuals and groups as they are mobile around the city. The Research Fellow (in association with the Project Director) will conduct ethnographic observation and interviews with people in these spaces, including those who work on the routes which link them together (such as bus conductors). The data to be collected will include socio-demographic information about each London space (e.g. the communities around particular bus or train stops) and also indicators of technological infrastructure (e.g. number of local public access points to the internet).



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