the (often) meandering travels of a student anthropologist
Welcome to a site, and blog, dedicated to my travels–and the study of American subcultures.
I'm currently doing fieldwork for my undergraduate thesis on female solo nomads. Learn more about that under 'Current Project: Rubbertramp Goddesses' in the menu, and if you are a female nomad who would be interested in joining the project, hover over the 'Current Project' link in the menu to drop down the 'join' link.
Why women? Since I've been on the road I've been asked that question often and, on occasion, have had to defend my decision. Some consider gendering divisive, leading to more inequity between the sexes or, especially because of the working title I've chosen, perhaps elevating the female experience above the male. However, as I researched this topic, and watched interviews on YouTube with both men and women who had chosen to become nomads, it dawned on me that the first question women are often asked, is "aren't you afraid?". For women, safety was a primary concern, where for men that were interviewed, it rarely comes up, or when it does, it was later in the interview. It was often an afterthought. The fact that we ask the question of women points directly to the fact that women in our society today experience the nomadic lifestyle differently than men.
As an ethnographer I have to focus on what is being lived on the ground, and experienced by the members of a culture, rather than an ideal we hold that culture to. This is especially true of our own culture. That said, I am personally interested in the female experience in all respects, and you can learn more about my interest in that here.
Ultimately, I will be studying women (as well as, potentially, transwomen) that socialize in groups–and more often than not–those groups will include men. So, to understand the difference in experiences, I will be talking to men as well. While my fieldwork and project is focused on women, you will find in my blog a more comprehensive experience as I talk to, and share stories and images, from both the men and women I meet.