I’m glad to have the rather unique opportunity of giving a guest lecture this week to anthropology students who want to know more about the possibilities of data visualization methods within an ethnographic research design. The lecture is part of a methods module in the Anthropology Bachelor at the University of Amsterdam that directly addresses questions about how compatible “qualitative” and “quantitative” methods are with one another.
My talk will be about my own exposure to the world of digital methods, in the form of training at the Utrecht Data School and the Digital Methods Summer School. I’ll place special emphasis on my experience of coming to these methods as someone who’s more accustomed to studying digital phenomena from an ethnographic perspective. It’s encouraging to see anthropology methods curricula starting to engage directly with questions of compatibility and complementarity of emerging technical tools with important principles of our field. And it’s great to have this opportunity to reflect together with students on the different epistemological and technical discussions about doing research on the social world in context that are increasingly permeated by digital technologies.