GDPR for qualitative researchers

May 25th 2018

Today, the 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) finally comes into effect. This European regulation is exciting because it offers all kinds of protections and choices to ordinary citizens.

From now onwards, organizations must ask Europeans for explicit consent to collect and store their data, and they must explain exactly what data they're collecting, and what it will be used for.

Even better, Europeans gain the "right to be forgotten," which means they can ask organizations to delete their data permanently (unless they have valid legal reasons for holding on to it).

This is great for the people we study. But what does it mean for us researchers? How does the GDPR affect the ways we seek consent? How does it affect our data storage? What happens if people want to be forgotten?

Money talk II: Language and the financial system

January 10th 2018

In Money Talk I, Is money language?, I explored how money and language are interconnected, and asked whether it is possible for money to exist without language. Here I cover the role that money talk plays in the financial system as a whole, and some recent work on the Utopian possibilities of money.

Money talk I: Is money just language?

January 10th 2018

What do money and language have in common? If money is nothing more than “a promise to pay,” as David Graeber puts it, then is it really just a part of language, and not a separate thing? After all, like language, money is expressed in symbols, such as dollar signs and numbers. It can be sent digitally, just like any textual information. 

How to make mussels in Guinness and Crème fraîche: A recipe in pan-European payments

September 15th 2017

Look into the average traveller’s pockets today and you will find evidence of multiple means of payment. Debit cards, credit cards, traveller’s checks, several currencies, cryptocurrencies, and payment apps are now so common that it seems impossible to run out of ways to pay. Wherever we buy things—on the street, in shops, restaurants, at ticket machines—we have a way to pay. 

Or so it would seem. In fact, as many travellers can attest, it is still possible to run out of ways to pay.