Hosting a Symposium as Data Collection: Combining Para-site, Rapid Ethnographic Assessment and Swarm methods to generate fast data from ephemeral events

Abstract

In this article, we propose combining elements from ‘Rapid Ethnographic Assessment’ and ‘Swarm Ethnography’ to create a hybrid, multi-researcher approach for the study of ephemeral events. What follows are strategies for manufacturing a working para-site wherein data may be gathered among actors whose position within their own organizations and industries makes them and their work difficult to apprehend (see Deeb & Marcus, 2011; Silverstein, 2011). Using data from our Cultural Intermediaries symposia, we show how three conceptual operators, intensity, interstitiality, and facilitation, are produced via the operation of para-sites, generating different data, more insightful interpretations, and stronger academic-industry research collaborations.

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