Mark Vacher and Tom O’Dell: ethnologists and epistemic educational partners

Mark Vacher is an associate professor of ethnology at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Tom O’Dell is a professor of ethnology at Lund University, Sweden, whose own research has primarily focused upon the cultural economy, the significance of mobility and transnational cultural processes.

Mark and Tom have collaborated for many years on developing programs of applied ethnography. We are curious to know their reasons, methods and lessons learned. Mark and Tom emphasize the value of digging into the problem before starting to look for solutions. But how do they make it work and how did they design a course that gives students the tools to do that? What are the skills students are expected to develop and what questions to answer? Is there certain theory that helps achieve the goals defined by the program? Mark and Tom reflect on their own approach to ethnology, on the role context plays – different in Sweden and in Denmark, and on the importance of having the right colleagues to work with. Lastly they offer advice for those interested in walking a similar path.

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Mentioned in Podcast:

Multi-targeted ethnography and the Challenge of Engaging New Audiences and Publics, Thomas O’Dell, 2017, In: Sociological Research Online. 22, 4, p. 193-207
Handbook of Anthropology in Business, Edited By Rita M Denny and Patricia L Sunderland, 2016, Routledge

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