Tricia Wang
Instagram is a tool of the trade for 32-year-old Wang, a sociologist and consultant working in China and documenting the wildfire spread of new social-media platforms like Weibo and Renren. "The kind of ethnography I do is intensively immersive--I go and live with people and spend as much time as I can eating with them, shopping with them, learning how they live their everyday lives," says Wang. "I do all this to understand how people use technology." These photos and captions are from her Instagram feed documenting her work and life in rural China.
Tricia Wang, cultural socialogist
Tricia Wang, cultural socialogist. Hahahha. According to economists, sociologists socialize. Surely they give us too much credit. But this misspelling is awesome! I'm gonna use it in the future. It's like when Juan read my business cards and thought I was a BullFighter (Fulbright) Scholar. I'm a bullfighting socialogist!! I will bull you down with my horns of theory! China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
Oh helllllo
Oh helllllo, I love doing field work in rural areas--I get dirty in a good way, I get fresh air, and I have an amazing view. I wish all consumers lived in rural areas so I could always do "research" in the countryside.

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
10rmb
A man walks by on the train offering 1 hour of DVD player rentals for 10rmb. The man sitting said, "What if I run off with the DVD player?" The vendor replies, "Where will you run to? We're on a train. Plus now you train tickers require real name registration." The vendor leaves and all the men discuss how it's possible that people don't steal the DVD players. China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
China
"One should love animals, they are so tasty." Quote on a card-carrying case with a bear holding balloons. China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
Humongous
Caught a picture of me as I stepped in cow shit. Have you ever seen a happier person stepping in cow dung? And these dungs are humongous! Hunan, China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
Home
Where is home? After going back to the states for 1 week and then returning to china for some conferences & more fieldwork, I'm often asked where do you live? I don't know how to answer. In the past the two ways I would define "home" is which city was my primary airport or which city I uses as my mailing address or where my most of my books were located.. But this time, none of those variables work. So it feels great to be back in polluted stinky vibrant changing Wuhan--the place i called home for the last year. Though time I have no apt. and will be staying with Juan.

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
XinHuang, Hunan
Fieldwork: @reginaldzhu & i spent the afternoon talking with grandparents about how they raise their grand kids and feed them when their parents are working as migrants in the city. The school principal and county's edu. govt officials came with me and made the introductions. XinHuang, Hunan

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
(Cottage phone!)
I'm a shanzai cellphone 山寨手机!(cottage phone!) I have 7 OS, will break in 6 months, but my speakers will kick android's & iphone's ass! China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
Hunan, China
Whoops @reginaldzhu dropped our Fieldnotes into the mud. Hunan, China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
Beijing, China
Waiting 4 hours to see TCM doctor (traditional Chinese doctor), Beijing, China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
Making a weibo post for Free lunch program
Making a weibo post for Free lunch program is a 4 step verification process. 1:) teacher writes accounting in books 2) second teachers writes a text message and sends its to village party secretary 3:) party secretary confirms text and posts it to weibo account 4) free lunch volunteer monitors weibo for inconsistencies. China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
Hunan, China
This is a 65-year-old village party secretary who should be retired. His children, wife, and grandchildren live in the city. He lives by himself in the village because he wants to make more improvements in the village. He still farms 1 Mu of land everyday. People in XinHuang are known to have a leisurely culture like Li Jiang, Yunnan. I was told that a British writer came here and he said that everyone walks so slowly everywhere they go and everything moved so slowly he couldn't take it. The old man replied, "We all end up in the same place when we die--a tomb in the ground. I chose to walk slowly to my tomb while you chose to walk quickly to your tomb. All the money in the world turns to ashes when you close your eyes." Hunan, China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
Hunan, China
Children were very excited to see a visitor. I wish all adults smiled this big & uninhibitedly. Hunan, China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
Hunan, China
The best part of fieldwork is the eating part. But usually this involves a lot of drinking and one of the local customs with the Dong minority group is that before the real drinking starts, everyone has to drink 3 shots--first shot is for the heavens, second cup is for the earth, third cup is for the ancestors. Before you drink the first cup you pour a few drops into the ground for the heavens and ancestors to drink. Then the REAL drinking starts after everyone is buzzed. Drinking and eating lasts usually about 6 hours. But this table set up is incredibly uncomfortable. The 3 inch high stools are made for midgets. I don't know how i will last all night. I am so screwed. I just want to sit on the table 火铺(Fire Shop). Hunan, China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
Tools of ethnography
I am very aware of my appearance when doing fieldwork. In situations where I need to quickly establish authority & trust, I take Fieldnotes on a clipboard. I usually only do this when I'm working with government officials. It reminds me of the story that @kenyatta tells where in Russia--during some school bombing or kidnapping, the authorities tried to calm hysterical parents but nothing worked until they brought in people with white doctor coats on. The parents immediately associated the coats with doctors--a figure of authority.

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang
China
Happy children eating a warm lunch. Up until last April--they didn't eat lunch. Most children walk 1-3 hours to and from school. All their parents work in cities as migrants. China

Read the interview - What Twitter Can Learn From Weibo: Field Notes From Global Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang

Slideshow: China Through The Instagram Lens Of Tech Ethnographer Tricia Wang

Instagram is a tool of the trade for 32-year-old Tricia Wang, a sociologist and consultant working in China and documenting the wildfire spread of new social-media platforms like Weibo and Renren. "The kind of ethnography I do is intensively immersive—I go and live with people and spend as much time as I can eating with them, shopping with them, learning how they live their everyday lives," says Wang. "I do all this to understand how people use technology." These photos and captions are from her Instagram feed documenting her work and life in rural China.

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