All posts by David S. Leitner

I am a Social Anthropologist and Ethnographic Consultant, currently based in Berkeley, California. My academic research and consulting have focused on how contemporary notions of the self and social relations interact with the emergence of social networks, networking, new digital technologies and innovation. I have conducted ethnographic and participatory research on social networking in the high-tech cluster around Cambridge, England and I have conducted an ethnographic evaluation of a publicly financed* funding model to encourage the uptake of new digital technologies and increased innovative practices in the arts sector. In the U.S. I have conducted a brief ethnography of co-working and the social aspects of innovation for the Sacramento, CA based Capsity. I have presented my research at academic conferences in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe and I have participated in a performance art project sponsored by the Arts Catalyst in London. I am currently working on two projects. The first is an ethnographic account of tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) communities focusing especially on Dungeons & Dragons. The second is an exploration of the online cultures of Attention Deficit Disorder and the role of new media in the development of ‘neuro-cultures’. See more about me at or or follow me on twitter: @anthroposinsigh

It’s official, anthropology’s useless!


Margaret Mead
How would Margaret Mead have fared on the Florida job market?

An article in Mother Jones, reports on comments Gov. Rick Scott of Florida made on conservative Florida talk show host Marc Bernier’s program on Monday. In the last minute of an 11 minute interview, Gov. Scott shifted from the usual conservative script about creating jobs with tax breaks and deregulation to the issue of what kind of education the state should be funding:

You know, we don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state. It’s a great degree if people want to get it, but we don’t need them here. I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, math degrees. That’s what our kids need to focus all their time and attention on. Those type of degrees. So when they get out of school, they can get a job.

Continue reading It’s official, anthropology’s useless!

Wordle-ing Ignorance

Just finsihed edits on an essay that will hopefully appear in print next year.  The title of the edited volume is Anthropology of Ignorance and the essay is called Evoking Ignorance: Abstraction and Anonymity in Social Networking’s Ideals of Reciprocity. I like the way the wordle came out.  It’s about as jumbled as I felt while writing the article.  See if you can figure out what it’s about!

Wordle: Evoking Ignorance