Edgeryders is co-conducting a research project on populism in Europe as part of the European Commission Horizon 2020 project POPREBEL, convening a participatory online conversation to learn what the rise of populist politics looks like from the point of view of Europeans living their daily lives. The project is a structured effort to listen to the voices of people on the ground, providing a breakdown of populism that encodes the point of view of the people directly affected by it, both supporters and opposers.
The Ethnographic Study
Edgeryders is seeking three ethnographers, one in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Germany (the Eastern Bundesländer), to each conduct a three month ethnographic study (a ‘mini ethnography’), potentially extendable to six months, on the impacts of COVID-19 and what they can tell us about the rise of Populism in Europe. We would like the mini-ethnography to address COVID-19’s effects upon one or more of the following topics:
- Housing and Work — exploring intergenerational relations and gender via work patterns, education, leisure time, and divisions of labour. How COVID-19 is requiring people to (re)negotiate these relations and responsibilities and/or brings existing disparities to light (e.g. childcare duties falling upon women).
- Healthcare — access and inequality, reflections on the system and its relation to politics.
- Who is to blame for social and political problems? — examining anti-LGBT sentiment and relationship to ethnic minorities and refugees e.g. scapegoating. Another possible approach to this topic is the study of anti-intellectualism — particularly in the COVID setting, around relationships to COVID information and personal privacy (e.g. do people feel it a government or elite power play or a legitimate public health issue).
The study will seek to connect these issues to participants’ political choices and ideologies, engaging a diverse range of participants (particularly those outside of large cities and in the university-aged and educated demographic). We theorise that people’s responses to COVID-19 — its effects on existing systems and practices, what it tells us about those systems and practices in the first place, and the way they frame those politically — will shed light on the ‘shadow of populism’ in each country.
This is a part-time role and would especially suit a postgraduate student in anthropology or a related field, as there will also be opportunities for publication of research results. All of the data generated is open access, so you are welcome to use it for your own work. If you are a Masters student, this could form the basis of your dissertation study. If a PhD, it could be part of a dissertation study or the basis for publications.
- Conducting a 3 month ethnography on one or more of the above topics, in large part online.
- Engaging participants to discuss their thoughts on the online platform, conversing with them and asking them deep ethnographic questions about their experiences and daily lives.
- Regularly posting field notes, interviews, and reflections on ethnographic findings on the platform.
- Inventing new and creative ways of doing digital ethnography on issues like populism.
- Working with a team of ethnographers who will be a) conducting ethnographic research on the same topic at the same time in a different field site and b) who will be coding the ethnographic materials and conversations you create on platform.
- Working with community managers and the outreach/engagement team to plan other events to engage participants (including presenting your own research!)
The Ideal Candidate
- Has experience conducting both offline and online/digital ethnography.
- Is trained in the theory and practice of ethnography.
- Speaks fluent English and either Polish, Czech or German (we will be conducting one ethnographic study in each country).
- Is used to working in teams and generating comparative ethnographic analysis.
The salary for the position is 3,000 Euros for 3 months part time.
To apply for the Czech ethnographer position, please send a CV and short research proposal (1-2 pages) to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: We are reviewing on a rolling basis and are conducting interviews as applications come in until we fill the position, so sooner is better.