I’m still thinking about the article by Pollard because what I’ve noticed in my line of work is that enormous forces are aligned to keep you from observing much of anything at all. In fact, some Top-Down, command and control type environments are driven by assembly line thinking where actions are documented and attempts made to replicate the action endlessly.
Obviously, that’s a problem. In fact, it’s what you will be replicating is an endless stream of “adjustments,” and “modifications,” and “adaptions” that are made at the individual level. These people in the front line aren’t machines and for the top-down company, that’s a nasty bit of news.
Here’s Pollard–I love how he puts this, adding such validity to the very thing that overwhelms me when I’m in the field:
“Always keep in mind that things happen the way they do for a reason. The reason will not always be obvious, and you have to keep an open mind and not jump to conclusions about the reason. Interviewing people afterwards to ask them why they think something is happening or is done a certain way can improve your perspective, but sometimes people just don’t know. The anthropologist’s job is to objectively record what is happening, and figure out why.”