science, geography and history at University of Bonn,
where he is currently teaching and working on his doctor dissertation.
Jaqueline Flack, M.A.
Graduated in sociology, German and comparative literature at Eberhard
Karls University Tübingen; currently research assistant at the Internation-
al Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW) in Tübingen
and doctoral student at European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder).
Agata Ładykowska, M.A.
Studied ethnology and cultural anthropology at the University of Warsaw;
currently PhD candidate at the Max
to develop the situation and the course of the
conversation while the interviewers should show as much restraint as possible, adjust-
ing their comments to the course of the narrative and to the person of the interviewee.
(‘Ethnological Analysis’ 569)
I also conducted some so-called expert interviews.1 Like Warneken and Wittel, I
am critical of the prevalent definition of expert interviews as primarily providing
material that is not to be analysed hermeneutically, but rather as a source of in-
1 Naturally the question arises as to how the term “expert” is
These insertions precede the three key chapters on research fields, methodology, and
analysis. The aim here is to condense meta-commentary and my reflections regarding
the topics to come.
2 As I found out after writing this section, Michi Knecht also identified and discussed
these three challenges in her 2012 article “Ethnographische Praxis im Feld der Wissen-
schafts-, Medizin- und Technikanthropologie”.
3 The full name of the discipline I located myself in is cultural anthropology/European
ethnology (as taught at Göttingen University). Generally, the
determined by changing economic conditions. Beyond that, there is no char-
acteristic structure of human forms of action and life. This position has been con-
tested in recent years, rightly so.
An important criticism comes from the realm of ethnology. The diversity of
human life forms is immense, but nevertheless there are “features of culture, soci-
ety, language, behavior, and mind that [...] are found among all peoples.”49 The
list of these ‘anthropological universals’, which are determined by intercultural
comparative research, is long. A well-documented example
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Curry, Andrew. ‘“We Are the People”: A Peaceful Revolution in Leipzig’. Spiegel
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Dahlgren, Peter. The Political Web: Media, Participation and Alternative Democ-
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Damsholt, Tine, and Astrid Pernille Jespersen. ‘Innovation, Resistance or Tink-
ering. Rearticulating Everyday Life in an Ethnological Perspective’. Ethno
, the military-technical power of a
nation is a function of its ability to produce and employ military technology. This
is obvious and needs no further explanation. However, there are two other factors
that Popitz does not address, which we regard as equally relevant. These are dis-
cussed in the disciplines of sociology, geography and ethnology under the key-
words of ‘vulnerability’ and ‘resilience’.18 Vulnerability refers to people’s expo-
sure and susceptibility to risks, be these environmental hazards such as floods or
droughts, or social risks such as
West German TV. After the collapse of the government, West German products were
suddenly everywhere on the shelves and that was the first culture shock […]. The
second culture shock was seeing homeless people and junkies. I have no idea what
they did with them in East Germany, but you never saw anything like that (ibid.).
The essential point here is that he was experiencing culture shock without
having moved from where he grew up. Culture shock is generally described
in ethnology as a typical reaction of individuals to a foreign culture or a
repairs or improvements” (Damsholt and Jespersen 25). In their study on
ethnological perspectives on innovation, Damsholt and Jespersen point out that
to understand “how adaptations or transformations to everyday life come about”
tinkering “is far more relevant than the idea of a sudden break” (25). To the au-
thors, innovation is “an ongoing tinkering with and within an established order”
(27). Here I would argue that innovation is congruent with what Schönberger de-
scribes as socio-cultural change: it “is only thought to be possible if it can be
: Facebook, Schengen and
Easyjet. In: Schwell u. a.: New Ethnographies of European Football, S. 212–227.
Mishkova, Diana (2008): Symbolic Geographies and Visions of Identity. In: European
Journal of Social Theory 11/2, S. 237–256.
Močnik, Rastko (1998): Balkan Orientalisms. In: Baskar, Bojan/Brumen, Borut (Hg.):
MESS: Mediterranean Ethnological Summer School Piran/Pirano Slovenia 1996.
Ljubljana, S. 129–158.
Moisio, S. (2002): EU Eligibility, Central Europe, and the Invention of Applicant State
Narrative. In: Geopolitics 7/3, S. 89–116.
Montague, James (2013): Ultras
, and Uckermark – have become an attractive destination for
1 | This section is based on Pawel Ładykowski’s project. The fieldwork was con-
ducted jointly by Paweł Ładykowski (Polish Academy of Science), and Łukasz Kac-
zmarek (Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of
Szczecin) within the project entitled “The Resurgence of the German-Polish Bor-
derland,” launched in 2008. Some of the conclusions included here are also de-
scribed in Ładykowski (2011).
2 | Recently, in September 2011, due to administrative reforms, the county was