Research & Studies

Covid-19 – The New Age of the Armchair Anthropology

Armchair anthropology is a derogatory term coined in the early era of anthropology that describes the practice of the researchers who had never left the comfort of their cozy rooms. The armchair anthropologists compiled other people’s research findings and personal opinions of distant worlds to publish supposedly scientific books and articles. This practice did a lot of harm to anthropological knowledge by reproducing stereotypes and biased western-centric knowledge. The practice has been criticized for decades and it seemed that it has vanished due to a rigorous system of checks and balances in the contemporary academic world.

However, with the global Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and the subsequent world-wide lockdown, the global community of ethnographers had to leave their research fields and return to their armchairs. This situation triggered the discussion about digital methodologies in ethnographic research, as many people started to adapt their projects to digital worlds. Digital ethnography is often considered separate from classical ethnographic research. However, in the digital age is it really possible to separate the two?

In this podcast episode, Astrea Pejović and Dragana Kovačević Bielicki (iASK fellows from the school year 2019/2020) discuss their personal experiences with digital methods in anthropological research and the situation in which they had to digitally adapt their researches.


Podcast No.1.