Monday, March 26, 2012


This is the official launch and debut post of Urban Fieldnotes, a blog and research project devoted to documenting style on the streets of Philadelphia and beyond, as well as the efforts of other bloggers to document style on the streets of Philadelphia and beyond. It is a street style blog about street style blogs, representing my efforts to make sense of street-style blogging as a social and cultural phenomenon by throwing myself head first into street-style blogging as a practice. It is, in other words, a street style blog for theory nerds.

Stay tuned for pretty pictures and inchoate ideas. I will be posting regular photos of trends and styles I observe on the streets of Philadelphia, or whatever other city I happen to be visiting, along with my thoughts, analyses, and comments, all delivered, I promise, with a bare minimum of snark. I will also be posting my interviews with other bloggers, links to other interesting, cool, or bizarre street style blogs I’ve come across in my research, and my interpretations, as they occur to me, of the stuff I find.

This blog, then, is something of an experiment in open-source ethnography. I will be posting my fieldnotes as I write them, exposing all those incipient ideas we anthropologists usually keep locked away in computer files until they’ve hatched into something more sophisticated. I am already cringing a little at the thought of this. I’m used to spending countless hours polishing my ideas into peer-reviewed journal articles that come out years after they’ve stopped being interesting to me. This whole self-publishing while it’s fresh on my mind thing is going to take some getting used to. So, please, bear with me. I am going to say stupid things. I am going to be wrong a lot of the time. I am going to stick my foot in my mouth repeatedly. But this, I propose, is what street style anthropology should be: immediate, direct, unfiltered.

Now here’s the part where I ask for your help: please comment on my posts and help me get street styling blogging right. Let me know what you think. Let me know where I go wrong, what I’m missing, what sites I should be checking out or writing about, where I should be snapping photos and of whom. Your comments will help shape what this project becomes. They will give me guidance and direction. And they might—you should know— also find their way into one of my articles, presentations, or books on the subject. But whether they do or not, I promise to read and engage with your posts regularly. 

So, without further ado…let the posts, and public unraveling of this anthropologist, begin.   

1 comment:

  1. Karla pointed me in the direction of your blog. This is going to be so interesting to follow along with! There are enough street style sites out there but none yet that are coming at it with this perspective. I love it! In addition, you are a great writer. Something that doesn't always go hand in hand with fashion blogging.

    Looking forward to hearing about your observations and thanks for including me in you blogroll!


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