Welcome to GE !

The Global Ethnographic (GE) Editorial Board members talk about their individual visions for the site. The GE editorial board members are all professional anthropologists working in a variety of different fields and regions.

Dr Richard Chenhall, Centre for Health and Society, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne

Global Ethnographic is a new journal, one that we hope will reach a broad audience working in a variety of locations, and on a number different topics. The journal is applied in its focus and we hope that submissions can translate anthropological themes, both theoretical and methodological, to issues that have global relevance. In order to respond to such issues, authors who chose to publish in this journal may draw from a number of sub-disciplines within Anthropology. For example, medical anthropologists may wish to draw our attention to the way in which biomedical technologies are bringing about changes to society and individuals within it. Development perspectives may bring us an analysis of intra-cultural tensions or harmony within modern nation states. The journal would also like to showcase ethnographic examinations of different and varied groups (and their inter-relationships), from minority and Indigenous groups through to governments and powerful corporations. What can we learn from anthropological perspectives, how do they frame issues and responses to complex problems? In what ways can Anthropology engage with the global?

As a medical anthropologist, one of my interests is in how issues around culture and society intermesh to create us as human subjects. A variety of experiences become to be defined as medical problems within various societies, such as alcoholism, and suicide. However the ways in which these “states” come to be known and experienced as disordered is wrapped up in a number of processes related to institutional and government processes. Specific cultural and social norms exist around various “disordered states” and these help to define and support informal systems of control.  However, with the increasing medicalisation and bureaucratic control of medical understanding and response systems, informal system of control have little place in the constitution of human subjects. In what ways do humans work within these systems to bring meaning to their experiences, which are defined as disordered? How do they use cultural and social norms to support relationships with families, communities and others in similar states?


Dr. Mark Davidheiser, Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Nova Southeastern University, and Director of the Africa Peace and Conflict Network (africapeace.org)

It is a pleasure to be a part of this exciting venture to broaden the reach of anthropological thought through conceptually rich but broadly accessible pieces in innovative styles and formats. Global Ethnographic aims to contribute meaningfully to the shaping of evolving anthropological thought and to its dissemination.


Tamara (Tammy) Kohn (Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Melbourne – BA (Berkeley), MA (Penn), DPhil (Oxford)

Global Ethnographic, in its interest in reaching out to a public that wants to engage with anthropology, is really offering a wonderful and necessary new resource.  I’ve been locked up in various academic ‘ivory towers’ in various parts of the world as a student and then lecturer for over 3 decades now, and ever since I first decided to ‘be an anthropologist’, I’ve felt that the most gratification I’d get from the job would be knowing that people who don’t necessarily pursue academic careers but work in the public sector in a range of disciplines and practices would learn to deeply appreciate the diversity of human experience through their studies.  This appreciation could then be applied effectively in the larger public sector, in political spheres, in medical professions, in social services.   The reason I’m so excited to be involved in OICD and its online magazine, Global Ethnographic,  is that it allows for quality descriptive and analytical ethnographic work to be read and enjoyed to all who would wish to access it, with merely a press of an button to the URL link.  Public knowledge, publically shared, globally effective, open to critical and supportive opinion – what more could one wish for!?


Dr. Bruce White (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Doshisha University, Kyoto Japan)

It is exciting to finally bring you, dear reader, a site which is the culmination of over a decade of conceptualization, networking, sourcing and online innovation.

When Global Ethnographic was conceived in 1999 there were few sources of “popular anthropology” writing either online or off. While today, professional and student/graduate anthropologists are more active in attempting to popularize anthropological perspectives, the discipline is still nowhere near, say, psychology or geography in terms of public appeal.

Unlike hardcopy magazines such as Psychology Today or National Geographic, anthropology still lacks a popular interface with the general public. And this at a time when the world needs the perspectives that anthropology brings to the local contexts of our social lives more than ever.

Over the last decade the vision of an online popular hub of readable ethnographic articles attracting established anthropologists, students and the general public has remained with us. A decade on and we are seeing the degree to which the vision needs to be made real; not only to satisfy established and emerging fans of the anthropological perspective, but to disseminate the very perspectives the world now needs to begin to solve its many interconnected problems.

We hope that this site will demonstrate one way in which anthropological research and theory, ideas and action, can act as tools for us all. We hope that in the process, the site demonstrates the inherent value of all anthropological work—its ability to vastly enhance the lenses through which people understand and interpret the world around them.