Ashley Meredith, 2015

My colleague once said to me, “anthropologists are always in a liminal state!” This website is devoted to understanding the ‘social fabric’ called culture and ethnographic distance displaced by coming from one understanding to the next. Welcome to my tales of being an anthropologist!

I am an applied cultural anthropologist.  Often people will ask if I am like Indiana Jones or dig up dinosaur bones, but neither is true for anthropologists except of course paleoanthropologists. Cultural anthropology focuses on cultural variation among humans and factors contributing to variation, including environment, geography, resources, cultural contact, just to name a few. I study culture and develop creative solutions to social issues, whether for ethnographic programs, user experience, or informing policy.

To learn more about my work, click “research” for a chronology of projects. Within the “research” page, there are links to updates of the corresponding project. The field equipment page informs about my current field tools and connects to reviews about specific equipment. The “home” page contains image circles which are hyperlinks to my observations and amusing stories!

Why the Ethnographic Mile?

“Ethnographic mile”  has its genesis during my transit, by boat, between la isla Santa Cruz to la isla Isabela in the Galapagos Islands.  It was on this trepidatious boat ride where I occupied my mind with thoughts about culture and its role in society. For some time, my thoughts revolved around the social fabric of a society–what can it tell us in shaping policy, implementing development plans, and sustainability? I wanted to express the details of every step we take and every view we experience. It is in a trek where we experience liminality, a state of being nowhere and somewhere at the same time, and in this trek we learn about details to where we are. The trek, or the mile, combined with cultural description, or ethnography, brings the “Ethnographic Mile.”



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