Falling into the anthropology trap…save me…
I’ve often smirked with cynicism at marketing and pr peeps who attempt to explain complex network theory and behavioural change as if, in their quest to achieve thought leader status, their pseudo-intelligence will make them moreÂ desirableÂ to the big gun pr agencies, earn them whacking great salaries and avoid them having to actually do anything that responds to the changes they so poorly explain.
Undoubtedly some of these people are very, very smart and I begrudge no-one furthering their thinking or personal development (lord knows, I need plenty myself!!) but in terms of credibiltiy in this space, the Shirky’s and Boyd’s have dedicated their careers toÂ understandingÂ human nature – reading a wikipedia entry on network theory in between client meetings, does NOT a sociologist make, however clearly you think you understand things. Where in your Marketing and CommsÂ qualificationsÂ does anthropology appear? Exactly. If you think I’m sniping, you’re probably right, but let me ask you this, when you planned your last client campaign, how much time and consideration did you give to research papers from the European Association of Social Anthropologists to help you betterÂ categorising your audience and messages? Exactly.
I’m not going to preach about any of this, but simply leave you with a few links to some people who dedicate their lives to understanding human change:
- Dr. Michael Wesch – Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Digital Ethnography (KSU)
- Gabriella Coleman – Assistant professor at NYU in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication
- Jillian C. York – A writer, researcher and activist who works at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
- Cyborg Anthropology – a wiki contributed to by leading researchers in the field of human (and non-human) interaction
Read, digest and find interesting by all means, but please, let’s leave it to the experts to theorise.