Using my body as an analytical tool – is there anybody out there?

“I have conducted an ethnographic fieldwork in a public school, in a reception class, with children aged 7 – 9.  I now have a lot of empirical material to analyze. I have fieldnotes, sound recordings, some photos etc.

Read more about my studies in Educational Anthropology

I have a question to you, and I need your help

I am going to do a ‘traditional’ ethnographic analysis, where you mostly use language as a tool, using codes, categories, etc.

I would like to use some other methods as well
One method, I would like to try is to use my own body as an analytical tool. What does that mean? It means that I for example listen to a sound recording of children eating fruit during the morning break. By listening to this recording, in a large room, with space for movement, I am going to do a video recording of my movements. This way, I am using my body as an analytical tool in the sense that I listen to the sound from my field recording, and move my body accordingly

I want to do this, firstly because I am interested in movement as a phenomenon. Secondly, I think that by starting the analysis by applying terms, codes and categories there are many important things left out

So my question to you is:

Do you know of anyone who has worked with a similar approach?

Someone who has used movement, maybe dance, or choreography with the analysis of ethnographic data? … or something along these lines

You might wonder why I am standing here.. I am in the Winter Bath. I’ve just been to the sauna and I’m feeling great. It’s a snowstorm. My point by choosing this place is that it makes sense as a place to ask this question about the body and what the body can do, and so on.

Thanks for listening and watching

I hope you will share your knowledge

Now, I’ll jump into the water”

From one ivory tower to the next …. OMG WTF !!

In the beginning of April this spring, I did some career counseling on myself, and as a result of a goal clarification process, I found out that I needed to dig deeper into the field I am working with. I wanted to dedicate more time and energy to investigate what is going on between people, when they are building a group relationship, and specifically what happens on the level of non-verbal interaction in this process.

I decided that the right framework for this kind of process would be …. academia.

Since I graduated with a BA in French and Musicology in 1995, I haven’t been part of the academic environment. Though I have repeatedly considered the option of doing an ‘artistic PhD’, I have basically been reluctant to engage myself with academia.

You know, most of what I am trying to do in my work as a composer is to distance myself as much as possible from the ivory towerness of the artistic world, and get out there and involve all kinds of people in the creative processes, – as a process that stems from, and is directed towards the collective, as opposed to the standard top-down kind of process that would make enlightened fine art products trickle down from the ivory tower to the anonymous crowd of cultural peasants.

So how does it make sense to want to fight my way to the other ivory tower, in the distant, boring, desert like world of academia?

Nevertheless, this is what I am going to do. I have applied for an MA in Educational Anthropology at Aarhus University, Emdrup Campus (Copenhagen, Denmark). And I was accepted!

September 2015 I will be starting on my first semester, and I will use this blog as a kind of diary, where I will  1) make sure that I keep my focus, and will not be absorbed in dusty ivory. I want to make sure my mix of curiosity, inclusiveness, no-nonsense, experiments will guide my way through the paper desert. 2) Reflect on the links between the field of study – anthropology with a focus on educational settings – and the focus in this blog, ie building collectives and non-verbal interaction.

Welcome to my student diary!!! Please comment, share, send me your thoughts, and let’s connect here and on other platforms.

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