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Representing the Sensory Home

Ethnographic Experience and Anthropological Hypermedia

Sarah Pink

In this article I draw from my research about gender, identity, and the home, to discuss the visual and the other senses in ethnographic experience and anthropological representation. First, I discuss how visual ethnographic research might appreciate the sensory nature of experience. Seeing the home as both the context and subject of field- work, I shall introduce the idea of the ‘sensory home’. This refers to the home as a domain composed of different sensory elements (smell, touch, taste, vision, sound) that is simultaneously understood and created through the sensory experience and manipulation of these elements. I then explore how such visual and sensory research might best be represented as text that is conversant with mainstream anthropology. I shall suggest that while film and writing have both tackled this theme, hypermedia offers new possibilities that might bridge the gap between written and visual anthropology.

Open access

Sarah Pink and John Postill

Abstract

When people move country, they experience new social, infrastructural, and ambient contingencies, which enables them to imagine otherwise unknowable possible futures ‘at home’. In this article, we mobilise a design anthropological approach to show how collaboration with temporary migrants can generate understandings that generate insights regarding future sustainable products in emerging economies. We draw on research with temporary Indonesian student migrants in Australia, which explored how they envisioned their possible domestic futures through their changing laundry practices.

Open access

Child Protection Social Work in COVID-19

Reflections on Home Visits and Digital Intimacy

Sarah Pink, Harry Ferguson, and Laura Kelly

Abstract

This article brings together digital anthropology and social work scholarship to create an applied anthropology of everyday digital intimacy. Child protection social work involves home visits in the intimate spaces of others, where modes of sensorial and affective engagement combine with professional awareness and standards to constitute sensitive understandings of children's well-being and family relationships. In the COVID-19 pandemic, social work practice has shifted, partly, to distance work where social workers engage digitally with service users in their homes while seeking to constitute similarly effective modes of intimacy and understanding. We bring practice examples from our study of social work and child protection during COVID-19 together with anthropologies of digital intimacy to examine implications for new modes of digital social work practice.

Free access

Ananthakrishnan Aiyer, Janis Bailey, Sarah Baker, Gerry Bloustien, Richard Daly, John Gledhill, Bruce Kapferer, Diane Losche, Di McAtee, Barry Morris, Val Napoleon, Sarah Pink, Jane Schneider, Peter Schneider, Cris Shore, and Benjamith R. Smith

Notes on Contributors