— Nigel Painting (@nigelchpainting) March 2, 2017
This definitely struck a chord with me.
These days it seems we distance ourselves from and ‘sanitise’ so much of life. We package meat and other food in ways that disguises its origins to such an extent that some children have no idea where it comes from. Society distances itself from mental health issues, ‘perverse’ sexuality and beliefs that do not conform to the norm. In many parts of the developed world we live our lives behind closed doors, a long way from the close-knit communities of our history.
So, yes, I can see how complete immersion in the culture of a community is essential to really understand it.
That got me thinking about the word immersion and how much more of a visceral and ‘real’ experience baptism by total immersion must be compared to the sanitised and symbolic ritual many Christian churches observe. To me that feels like a great example of understanding through immersion, in a very literal sense.
Getting an ‘insiders’ view of digital education was one of the reasons I decided to complete this Masters course. Studying the topics I have has proved useful in my day job, but some of the most useful insights have come from being a distance learning, digital student. All along I’ve been ‘doing ethnography’ and didn’t know it!