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CASLL-L  May 1999

CASLL-L May 1999

Subject:

Re: so suddenly silent...

From:

Doug Brent <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CASLL/Inkshed <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 25 May 1999 13:48:32 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (85 lines)

"As your enthnographer..."  I really like that.  SOunds like, "As your
bartender, here's what I think..."

Seriously, I wouldn't worry if this list goes dark from time to time.
Historically it's always been prone to long flurries of postings sparked
by somebody who asks a particularly interesting question, followed by
silences as people try to catch up on their marking.  I really don't
think it's you.

As for your specific request for information -- I suspect that the
chattier of us have already answered that request the first time around,
leaving only the less chatty (or maybe the ones who are feeling even
more pressured) to respond to the latest round.  I think I thought of
your request as same-again and didn't respond, but reading it again I
see that it is not just about the list as your previous one was, but
about larger issues within Inkshed.  I'll try to respond to these larger
issues in another post.  (Could you repost your original request--it
seems to have gone done the gravity well of my e-mail file.)

My impression from anyone I've talked with about this over a beer is
that most people are quite interested in your project, willing to help,
and interesting in seeing ourselves as others see us.  Speaking for
myself, I'm quite resigned to the fact that nobody is likely to paint a
picture that exactly matches my own representation.  I appreciate the
opportunity you've extended to correct any errors of basic fact, but as
for the exact shade and hue ofthe representation -- well, that's up for
grabs.

You've put yourself in an awkward position of being insider/outsider,
with enough personal investment to make so-called "objective"
ethnography really difgficult.  I admire your courage in doing so.
Don't let it get to you or dull your ethnographer's edge too much.
We're by and large a friendly lot, quick to forget even our own
appointment schedules, let alone an imagined slight by an ethnographer.
If you make your results available I'll be as quick as anyone to say,
"That's not how _I_ remember it!"  but you'll just have to take that as
the price of doing business in the world of ethnography.  I for one
promise not to take it personally and am impressed with the painstaking
care you have taken to get it as right as you can.  Any more care would
gut the ethnography and make it a group autobiography.

Write us up, Tanya!

Tania S. Smith wrote:
>
> As your ethnographer...
>
> I am wondering why the list went so suddenly silent... is it just because it
> is end-of-term for many?  Is it post-conference burnout?  Or-- is it a
> reluctance to post because I asked for more ethnographic information?  I
> notice that other messages asking for info are going unanswered right now,
> which is unusual, considering the high amount of activity in the past 6
> months or so!
>
> I have gotten no responses about "what is Inkshed-- what does the
> conference/listserv do for you-- what is your role in Inkshed" since I asked
> on the list.  I have gotten responses from 3 or 4 NEW conference-presenters,
> however.  That is interesting, but I don't know what it means that they
> responded and others didn't.  Did the "regulars" think that my data
> collection ended at the conference, perhaps, or that they'd done the most
> that could be expected by even letting me "ethno-graph" them?  Did the new
> presenters just have more need to express their reactions to someone?  I
> ask, as my voice echoes across the canyon of listserv space and time ...
>
> Oh well.  It's only a class project, not a dissertation or a book.  I don't
> have the time or means to do a full-scale ethnography, so my data will be
> limited, and I will probably end up making some false conclusions about
> Inkshed that will really annoy core Inkshedders or set sparks flying between
> inkshedders.  I am thinking now that I might never let it be seen by anyone
> besides my professor, because I don't know if I want to risk the chaos that
> would ensue upon letting the Inkshed group view my objectification of who
> they are.
>
> Boy, am I learning a lot about ethnography!!
>
> Tania

--
Doug Brent
Co-ordinator, Undergraduate Program in Communications Studies
Associate Dean, Academic Programs and Faculty Affairs
Faculty of General Studies, University of Calgary
(403) 220-5458
Fax: (403) 282-6716
http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~dabrent

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