Making anthropological knowledge accessible: Empathic Cultural Mapping as an online educational, research, and policy resource
(University of Calgary)
Paper short abstract:
This paper discusses the genesis, development and implementation of the Urban Healthscapes: Empathic Cultural Mapping project. ECM disseminates anthropological knowledge via connections between community narratives and 'big data'. The ECM is designed for use by educators, policy-makers, and others.
Paper long abstract:
Anthropology has great potential to inform education and training, both across disciplinary areas in the university and in government and community organizations. This paper discusses the genesis, development and implementation of a pilot Knowledge Transfer and Exchange (KTE) project Urban Healthscapes: Empathic Cultural Mapping (ECM). The ECM is an online educational resource using vignettes derived from ethnographic research undertaken with first-generation migrants and refugees living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and 'big data' (for example, census data). These are brought together in interactive maps that highlight the complex relations between health, location, identity, and integration. The ECM disseminates anthropological knowledge students, educators, and researchers across universities, local government, and non-government newcomer-serving organizations. This KTE pilot project emerged from an ongoing relationship between a social anthropologist working across multiple disciplines at the University of Calgary, the City of Calgary, and various Calgary NGOs focused on the interaction between social and built environment, transportation, and chronic health issues. The overriding aim of the ECM is to present anthropological knowledge in an accessible and culturally empathic way that makes connections between individual narratives and 'big data'. Integrating the ECM resource into university teaching and training within city authorities and NGOs will disseminate the voice of participants and encourage students (particularly future health and environmental design professionals) and policy-makers to find connections between individual experience and the demographic and social knowledge presented by 'big data'.
Teaching and learning anthropology and ethnography in transforming contexts: objectives, practices, pedagogies and challenges [TAN]