Abby Loebenberg - 'On Thin Ice: Playing dangerously indoors and out in Vancouver' (graduated July 2011)
Abby's thesis explores localised global consumption through ethnographic research about children's television and associated material and spatial practices in Vancouver, Canada. Adult ideas and concerns about danger and the safety of children are contrasted with how children use various elements from television programmes to both understand and negotiate space (public, semi-public and private) and create peer cultures.
Ian Ewart - 'The Anthropology of Engineering: a Cross-cultural Approach' (graduated March 2012)
From a layperson’s point of view, engineering is associated with industrialisation and the scientific method; a streamlined solution-provider, generating the best answer to a practical problem. Non-industrialised cultures that have demonstrated engineering prowess, on the other hand, are seen as having overcome their lack of science and conquered the natural world. Both assumptions will be explored through parallel fieldwork in Borneo and the UK that examines the process of engineering as it actually happens.
Tomohiro Morisawa - 'Objects of Creativity: Ethics and Aesthetics of work in the production of animation movies in Japan' (graduated January 2013)
Tomo's thesis examines ways in which the contrasting discourses of creativity and artisanship articulate the work ethic and aesthetic ideals of animators and other 'creators' involved in the production process of animation movies in Japan. Based on fieldwork at an animation production company, his research will critically engage with emerging anthropological issues of creativity, skill, work, and intellectual property.
Iza Kavedzija - 'Living Well: Changing concepts of the ‘good life’ in Japan through the lens of the ideal home'(graduated February 2013)
Iza's research focuses on ideas of the 'good life' in contemporary Japanese society, particularly as reflected in notions of the ideal home. By looking at how the life choices of the elderly and the young are shaped in relation to decreasingly well defined social roles, it aims to explore the changing realities of constraint and choice under the condition of 'late modernity'.
Andrew Bowsher - Limited Edition: The Consumption of Music Box Sets and the Politics of Distinction (graduated October 2014)
Based on fieldwork in Austin, Texas, Andrew's thesis examines the interplay between consumer cultures and production in the circulation of specialist music products. By focusing on the music box set, a highly prized commodity which appeals to Western collectors of music that exist outside of mainstream popular culture, he questions assumptions in anthropology about subcultural behaviour in popular culture, the interplay between production and consumption of commodities, and the creation and negotiation of value in systems of exchange.
Julien Dugnoille - The Seoul of Cats and Dogs: An Ethnography of animal welfare in contemporary South Korea (graduated April 2015)
In 1988, the South Korean government decided to hide every dog meat restaurant in Seoul in order to avoid potential diplomatic incidents during the Olympics. This marked a turning point in South Koreans’ attitudes towards the consumption of dogs within their own society, oscillating, from then on, between guilt and national identity. While cats and dogs are still consumed as food, they have increasingly become people's pets. Thus, in the last twenty years, animal welfare has become a widely controversial topic. Through an ethnography based inside three animal shelters in Seoul, Julien’s research will unveil South Korean animal welfare’s attitudes in terms of adoption strategies, euthanasia policies, work interactions and ideological conflicts. It engages with wider anthropological issues such as the study of human-animal relationships, ethics, education and nationalism.
Hege H. Leivestad – Ambiguity on Wheels – Caravan Immobilities in Contemporary Europe (graduated November 2015)
Hege H. Leivestad’s work deals with a particular material object: The caravan, and the way social life is constituted in and around it. Based on fieldwork among caravan- and motorhome dwellers in Sweden and Spain she asks what it actually means in 21st century Western Europe to live a life on wheels. In so doing, the thesis ethnographically unpacks the various modalities of dwelling that take place among people for whom the caravan constitutes an extension of an already existing domestic sphere as well as for those where the caravan has become a primary, and often contested, home.
Mary Miller – Drawing things together: an archaeologically-illustrated ethnography of London homes (graduated November 2016)
Mary’s research explores how archaeological practice might benefit the anthropological study of material culture in overcoming the critique that its focus on the social comes at the expense of the material. Through an ethnography that uses both participant observation and archaeological illustration she will examine the interrelationships, movements and changes of objects over time inside three London homes.
Anne-Marie Sim – "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and Other Tales: An Ethnography of Childen in Greater London (graduated January 2017)
This dissertation draws on long term immersive fieldwork in children's worlds, documenting their everyday practices and spontaneous narratives, to explore how children imagine through inter-subjective action in real time potential futures.
Ryotaro Mihara – An ethnography of the Japanese anime industry in India (graduated July 2017)
Although it has long been said that the Japanese domestic anime market is shrinking, anime remains popular overseas (which is often labeled in Japan as "Cool Japan"). One would therefore assume that, in order to survive, players in the Japanese anime industry would expand their business interests and focus their attention abroad. However, this is not happening and through an ethnography of companies that are trying to expand the anime industry in India my research aims to answer this "puzzle".