Session 1: The Way of Industry: IZABEL BARROS, Curator: Hyper-skilling: The Collaborative Ethnographer
Article first published online: 16 NOV 2010
© 2010 by The American Anthropological Association. Some rights reserved.
Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings
Volume 2010, Issue 1, pages 2–13, August-September 2010
How to Cite
REESE, W., FLEISCHER, W. and HAMAGUCHI, H. (2010), Session 1: The Way of Industry: IZABEL BARROS, Curator: Hyper-skilling: The Collaborative Ethnographer. Ethnographic Praxis, 2010: 2–13. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-8918.2010.00005.x
- Issue published online: 16 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 16 NOV 2010
Time, budget, and resource pressures will impact ethnographic work into the foreseeable future. As “de-skilling” threatens ethnography—disrupting an integrated, holistic approach and output—we must seek new work practices. We have advocated and implemented an explicitly integrative model of collaborative practice, which interconnects the knowledge domains within a cross-disciplinary team to generate effective, powerful insights. This model, which we will call hyper-skilling, focuses on assembling knowledge and communication with other key perspectives such as branding and marketing strategy, historical analysis, trends forecasting, and in many cases design and engineering. Each plays a key role in determining a company's course of action. We also argue that the multi-disciplinary team model is well-suited to corporate settings and the conditions in which ethnographers are increasingly asked to practice. Intended or not, academic environments tend to promote the isolation of individual practitioners and the atomization of their work within specialized theoretical contexts. If instead these environments could be constructed to foster a team model, ethnographers will be better able to address challenges they face as practitioners in industry.