January 23, 2018 at 1:25 pm

Rosen Puts ‘Accidental Communities,’ Element of Chance at Center of Analysis

Dr. Matthew Rosen with curved metal benches and trees behind him

Dr. Matthew Rosen

Dr. Matthew Rosen authored an article on “Accidental communities: Chance operations in urban life and field research” in the journal Ethnography.

Rosen is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Ohio University.

“This article concerns chance encounters and other contingencies as these relate to fieldwork practices and processes of community formation. My perspective emphasizes the ‘chance meetings’ that brought a community of migrant readers together in urban India and the ‘accidents of discovery’ that allowed me to construct a field around these encounters. Rather than treating the element of chance that figures in social relationships and social research as an incidental phenomenon, I put it at the center of analysis,” Rosen writes.

“The material that forms the basis for the discussion emerged from ethnographic research I carried out in a network of small public libraries located in Pune, a city whose population has more than doubled in the past 25 years. In 1991, at the outset of economic liberalization, Pune’s population was roughly 1.5 million. By 2011, when the last census figures were published, the city’s population had grown to more than 3 million. Most of this growth was due to the influx of economic migrants.

Read Rosen’s article.

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