Lowrider car parked in garage. Water damage on the garage walls behind the car. Black and white poster showin Jim Morrison on garage wall, hung sideways. Some spraypainted black tag on the wall. Finger of photographer slightly covering camera lens.

Lowrider

Los Angeles, 2005. (The photo is not from the book referred to in the text to the right.)

Photo: Martin Høyem

 

Lowrider Space

We take a special interest in scientific works on outlaw aesthetics here at American Ethnography Quasimonthly. And we also love us some writing on car customization. Thus, when we heard about Ben Chappell’s Lowrider Space, a new publication from the University of Texas Press, we perked up: any academic hep cat who takes a look at lowriders is cool, calm, and a solid wig as far as we’re concerned.

Lowrider Space draws on Chappell’s participant observation fieldwork among car clubs in Austin, Texas. He describes how the lowrider culture creates a social space for its participants, and he points to the value of this space for a group of people who – because of their social status in the society they live in – are often denied access to other spaces.

It’s a cool piece of research, and we’re stoked to share with you an excerpt from the book. Here’s “Regulating Lowrider Space.”

Street Food

Penny De Los Santos says she explores and celebrates culture, history and community through the lens of food. Here’s a gallery of De Los Santos’ work.

Graduate School

From a depraved and desperate Montreal underworld, here’s a pitiless and darkly comic exposé of a dope hungry intellectual who educates himself in the art of hustling access to the contents of pharmacy cabinets.

Homeless Drug Addicts on the Streets of San Francisco

Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg spent over a decade doing fieldwork with two dozen homeless heroin and crack addicts on the streets of San Francisco, and produced an extraordinary wellcrafted documentation of this dystopian side of American society.

Their book, Righteous Dopefiend, is an ethnographic tour de force, and we’re stoked to bring you an excerpt.

Photography and Sociology

In 1974 sociologist Howard Becker published “Photography and Sociology” He wrote: “Robert Frank’s […] enormously influential The Americans is in ways reminiscent both of Tocqueville’s analysis of American institutions and of the analysis of cultural themes by Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict.”

Becker has gratuitously allowed us to re-publish the article for our readers: Photography and Sociology.

 

The World of Lucha Libre

Anthropologist Heather Levi apprenticed with a retired luchador (wrestler) in Mexico City. She also observed live lucha libre events and interviewed wrestlers, referees, officials, promoters, and reporters, and gathered her insights in a beautiful work of ethnography, The World of Lucha Libre.

Here is an excerpt from Levi’s book.

What else?

Have you got some good stuff you think American Eth­no­gra­phy Quasi­monthly should cover? Please send us an email and tell us about it!

Proposal to perfume within your region

“It is my wish to book with you for a group of 10 students coming from Germany, as they are preparing for their contracted proposal to perfume within your region.”

More on our feedback page.

 

The finest, raunchiest, most teasing poster art from the world of burlesque, from the Folies Bergère to the retro-inspired scene of today. A high-octane, eye-popping collection of visual raunch and bump and grind. Visit the gallery here.

What’s all this, then?
Black and white pen drawing of car interior with chain steering wheel.

American Ethnography is a stranger in a 1972 Riviera, sunburst yellow banged up and dirty, raving coffee madness cruising Main Street of the quiet desert town at 15 miles an hour …”

 
Record sleeve art: Tito Puente Puente in Percussion

Today we’re digging Puente in Percussion by Tito Puente.

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