Ethnography Project: Transnational Networks, Grounded in Transportation
By Suzanne Schefcik
way in which anthropologists today write ethnographies
is rapidly changing. In previous times, single sited ethnographies
larger social orders and macro-constructions were commonplace. Today,
multi-sited ethnographies are becoming more popular. Multi-sited
are, “multiple sites of observation and participation that cross-cut
according to George Marcus in his article "Ethnography in of the World System:
the Emergence of a
Multi-Sited Ethnography." Throughout my own travels around
discovered that transportation is a common theme throughout each
nation. Japan, India
each have different
approaches to public transportation that reflect a
about the society as a whole.
really can define a culture in more ways than one. Through
governmental practices, social configurations and economical means can
distinguished. Every country throughout the world has some sort of
private transportation, each one somewhat different than the other.
is seemly meaningless to research transportation because it seems
human life, this topic renders many cultural attributes.
travels in Japan,
I encountered public transportation everywhere I went. The elaborate
system made it easy and simple to move about from city to city.
funding for the transit obviously was necessary for the project. The
which the government lies, a strong democratic society, can be easily
shown through the technical advances of transit.
opposition to Japan,
transportation was all over the place. The contrasts between castes
through many different transportation methods including: horses,
rickshaws, buses and automobiles. Rickshaws provided
transport to a
majority of people. In addition, working conditions of the drivers
terribly low. It is apparent the growing population affects the mass
disorganization of public transport.
in which transportation methods affected the society was Egypt.
general form of transportation in Giza, Egypt
camels and horses. Although
many villagers and civilians rarely use
animals for transport, they are still available for tourists to bring
their destinations. The ways in
which the animals are used, treated and
reflect on the culture.
Dong: Japanese Transit
2 Reckless Rickshaws in India
3 Egyptian Camels
the entire planet, public transportation is eminent; whether it be
riding a camel or speeding in a rickshaw. “Transnational networks are
in particular places, even if these places are multiple rather than
and they have an impact on localities and regions,” wrote Alan Smart in
article titled "Participating in the
Global: Transnational Social Networks
and Urban Anthropology." Transportation remains a transnational
located throughout multiple sites around the world. Public
one gain insight on governmental practices, social configurations and
economical means. The underlying social constraints are visible when
the time to evaluate them. In accordance with my own personal
experiences in Japan,
specific examples exist.