Mysteries reside in the humblest, everyday things: collaborative anthropology in the digital age
Article first published online: 23 AUG 2013
© 2013 European Association of Social Anthropologists.
Volume 21, Issue 3, pages 305–321, August 2013
How to Cite
Stewart, M. (2013), Mysteries reside in the humblest, everyday things: collaborative anthropology in the digital age. Social Anthropology, 21: 305–321. doi: 10.1111/1469-8676.12041
- Issue published online: 23 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 23 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 11 JUL 2013
- collaborative anthropology;
- visual anthropology;
- mass observation;
- documentary film
MyStreet is an internet-based collaborative anthropology research project combining digital recording, Google maps and visual-ethnographic research. It aims to generate a space for a series of ‘minor’ discourses in which ‘venatic’ evidence (Carlo Ginzburg) holds sway. I examine this project and its preliminary outcomes as a revival of the spirit of Mass Observation, a British social movement of the 1930s. Though originally rejected by the Anthropological academy, Mass Observation's extraordinary vision of a democratic ‘science of ourselves’, to be realised through the creation of a popular anthropology of everyday life, remains as relevant today as it was in 1937.