Friday, May 21, 2010

The Lunch Truck: Providing a Small Taste of Ethnic Foods for the Adventurous

What do you normally have for lunch? Leftovers? A sandwich? Do you bring it from home or do you buy it from a local eatery? In New York City, a sandwich (with a pickle and a bag of chips) will cost you about $8.00. A salad starts at about $5.00; the price increases depending on how many extras you toss in there. It can get pretty pricey over time. A possible solution? Lunch trucks and carts. [Above: The line for the Halal cart.]

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Time-Space Compression in the Digital Realm

My work on time in the digital realm is coming slowly but surely. At the moment I'm thinking of multiple temporalities and the ways in which we occupy these dimensions while adhering to standardized time. Birth (2007) explores these issues with an article that deals with the conflicts that can arise out of a meeting of biology, clock, sun, and sociality. Birth raises a point in particular that has given me some pause: “If place-bound identities are becoming more significant as Harvey argues (1993, 4), then one wonders about the ways time and space are experienced locally … and in relationships that span different time zones” (2007: 216). But can this statement be applied to the digital realm as well? Are place-bound identities still significant in the digital realm?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Service in the City: Breakfast Vendor

To wrap up the Service in the City series for this week, we'll talk to Akhmed, a breakfast cart vendor who serves up coffee, bagels, and pastries every morning to help sleepy workers start their day.

"Service in the City" doesn't end here. I'll occasionally add to this series as I collect more stories from service individuals. I urge you to talk to the service industry folks in your life, and if you'd like to feature them on Anthropology in Practice, drop me a line.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Service in the City: Cleaning Staff

Continuing the Service in the City series, today we'll be talking to Marge who works for an office cleaning company. Surely you didn't think your garbage can was emptied by helpful elves?

Monday, May 10, 2010

For the Love of the Game: A Look at Fans and Disappointment

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.orgWhat does it mean to be a baseball fan? To exchange high fives with complete strangers utterly swept away with the exhilaration of a win? To sit in your car, despondent, after a devastating loss? What is the fan’s connection to this game—billed as America’s pastime?

Before delving into this post, it’s only fair to report that I myself am a fan. So this is in part a self-reflexive exercise to investigate some of my own responses to the team I follow. Consequently, I can’t guarantee an objective perspective here, but it will be honest. And I’m interested in learning if these ideas can be applied to sports in other places—so feel free to chime in at the end.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bullying and Emotional Intelligence on the Web

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.orgFormspring, a recent entry into the social networking milieu, is finally beginning to attract mainstream attention as parents and educators have to deal with the fallout from preteens and teens who are confronted with ugly criticism on the site. Formspring allows users to post and answer questions, some of which are rather personal. And as users link the site to Facebook and other popular social networking sites, they open themselves up to comments and questions from any number of people who can post anonymously if they so choose. Sexual history, bra size, and more are all fair game on the site. Questions are delivered to the user's inbox, and the user decides which to answer. Answered questions appear on the user's profile, and a surprising number of answered questions are of the anonymously submitted personal variety. Why? And what does this signify about the state of emotional intelligence with regard to the web?

Monday, May 3, 2010

When The Human Network is a Digital One

Cisco's recent advertising campaign, featuring actress Ellen Page, has focused on the human network—a network that grows decidedly more digital with each passing day. The four Cisco ads take viewers on a tour through Lunenburg, Nova Scotia where Page visits familiar haunts and remarks on how things have changed since her last visit. The common thread in her wonderment? The connectivity of digital media.