My thesis, based on my anthropological fieldwork in the Ubuntu community, is finally done, and I turned it in yesterday.
Since I began writing my thesis, I’ve had this as my background screen on my computer:
‘Going Native‘ is losing your reflexive anthropological distance by becoming to closely involved with the field. It is taking on some of the cultural traits of the people you study, eventually reaching the point where you can’t even tell yourself apart from your informants.
Naturally, this is a bad point of departure for writing serious anthropological analysis, and I needed that daily reminder not to jump back in to the digital conversation flow on IRC and mailing lists and continue my direct involvement with Ubuntu, which would make writing this thesis so much harder (and most likely make the end result even worse that it has turned out..)
So I left the Ubuntu community for a while, longer than anticipated, actually, as it seems that Parkinson’s Law (stating that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”) remains in effect.
Thus, I won’t be able to defend my thesis until late August because the University of Copenhagen summer break in July. And similarly, I won’t have time to make my thesis available on-line until then, partly because the people I quote in the thesis need to have a chance to read and approve of the data I make public, partly because I will be on summer holidays almost continuously until the 27th of July, and partly because my computer died recently, leaving me with little means of working on the go.
But as a little (tiny) appetizer, here’s the front page:
Later on, I hope to sum up some of my experiences writing this thesis. I haven’t really been very good at posting updates on how my writing has progressed, but I suppose that is in part due to the thesis tunnel vision that sort of blocks out everything else.
Until then, enjoy the summer!