JUST DATA FOR HOUSING JUSTICE:
INTEGRATING ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH TO CONTEXTUALIZE DATA FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
STEPHANIE FRIEDE, PH.D.
Spatial Justice Faculty Fellow
A house is more than just a home. From educational opportunity to the threats posed by industrial pollution, a house is not simply four walls to protect oneself from the weather, but also a home, that, when accessible, is how neighborhoods become communities, schools become opportunities, and families can root down to grow out. Safe and secure housing is essential to wellbeing. Using the lens of spatial justice, this project is a methodological experiment to be conducted in partnership with Forsyth Futures. We will explore how ethnographic data can be translated in a timely and meaningful fashion to connect with quantitative research bridging the epistemic barriers that often divide narrative and lived experience from algorithmically processed data. By expanding what “counts” as data, we hope to broaden the perspectives that inform how communities, activists, social service providers, and policy makers work to create change. We hope to establish a model toolkit for other civic minded research organizations who also seek to use mixed-methods research tools to support an intimate approach for spatial justice in Winston Salem and beyond.
Dr. Friede’s scholarship and teaching are located at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies, Environmental Humanities, and the politics of energy and infrastructure in Latin America. In her book manuscript, “Atmospheric Pressure: An Ethnography of Wind, Turbines, and Zapotec Life in Southern Mexico,” Dr. Friede explores the politics of renewable energy in Southern Mexico which have led to huge profits for some, largely at the expense of Oaxaca’s indigenous Zapotec peoples. Friede’s research seeks to complicate narratives promising technological fixes alone can solve the complex problems emerging from the burning of fossil fuels. Dr. Friede’s work is motivated by the conviction that long-term interdisciplinary research can help the world address global climate change. Dr. Friede received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University in May 2018.