Guest Editorial: Cultural Analysis as Intervention

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Recently, cultural analyses – especially ethnographic descriptions of everyday-life practices – seem to have found new audiences situated within what Nigel Thrift has termed ‘soft capitalism’ (2006,1997). Ethnography is increasingly perceived by businesses, organizations, and industry as a key to producing surplus value due
to its ability to gain access to the world of customers, users and citizens; for instance, by uncovering user demands (cf. Cefkin, 2009). This begs the question of what cultural analysis can and ought to do – beyond the scope of acting as a witness for truth and delivering facts to a whole new genre of business empiricism – and how to avoid reducing ethnographically-based cultural analysis to a simple matter of methods. What does it entail if we are to more strategically engage with compressed, to-the-point depictions of everyday life? The contributors to this special issue engage with the idea of intervention, not only by discussing it but also by operationalising pivotal aspects of intervention via ethnographically-informed studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012

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