The term Deep Hanging Out was coined by anthropologist Clifford Geertz to describe the anthropological research method of immersing oneself in a immersed in a cultural, group or social experience on an informal level. Observations gleaned from deep hanging out may typically end up being the most poignant insights of one’s anthropological research. In contrast to anthropological practices of conducting short interviews with subjects or observing behavior, deep hanging out is as form of participatory observation in which the anthropologist is physically or virtually present in a group for extended periods of time or for long informal sessions.
When I first heard the term Deep Hanging Out last week in a meeting to plan the next edition of the Leeds Creative Labs, it immediately struck me that this has been what we’ve been doing all along in Pararchive.
From the cafes and classrooms of the pilot project in Autumn 2012 to the pubs, coworks, lounges, kitchens, community centres and dining rooms of Leeds, Cardiff, Rothesay, Stoke, Manchester and Bradford. I’ve been wondering a lot why such a sprawling, complex project with conflicting perspectives and philosophies has been so harmonious and human.
It’s this… the Deep Hang.
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