Deepest darkest Austria. An ethnography

Brilliant. I think I might take up culturalbytes teaching tip:

I am now assigning Walter Wippersberg’s 1994 Film, Dunkles, Rätselhaftes Österreich Dark, Mysterious Austria, to all my students! If you teach qualitative methods, consider including this in your syllabus.

Produced for Austria’s SBS-TV, this films poks fun at old-school ethnography from anthropologists and the National Geographic-esque like exposes on the exotic Africans and South American natives.

“A team of the All African Television network wanders into the darkest regions of the Eastern Alps. They observe the habits and rituals of the natives and make not one, but two ethnological major break-through discoveries.” IMDB

badethnography tell us that at

“At 5:40, we learn that the team has disproved the theory that Europeans are monogamous; starting at about 7:50, they describe the elaborate costumes and militaristic symbolism of clans of the Tyrol region of Austria; and at 15:00, there’s a great discussion of the curious obsession with “patently useless activities,” such as biking for no other purpose than biking itself.

Aside from the humorous commentary, it’s a great way of illustrating the sociological imagination,  which requires us to step out of our own culture and try to look at it through the eyes of an outsider — and, as C. Wright Mills put it, to recapture the ability to be astonished by what we normally take for granted.”

via badethnography via culturalbytes

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12 Responses to “Deepest darkest Austria. An ethnography”

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