Naked Harbin Ethnography: Hippies, Warm Pools, Counterculture, Clothing-optionality and Virtual Harbin
An anthropology of Harbin Hot Springs, virtual Harbin, the 1960s forward, counterculture, virtual worlds and information technology The book's target audiences are undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, information technology social scientists, Internet studies' researchers, academics interested in the "virtual," and people with a fondness for the 1960s. My book comes into conversation with Tom Boellstorff's "Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human" (Princeton 2008), and could be read in academic courses in direct conversation with "Coming of Age in SL." For my next Harbin book, I plan to build a virtual Harbin, ideally in a movie-realistic interactive 3D virtual earth, Google-made, and do actual virtual comparative fieldwork, what I'm calling ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy - http: //scott-macleod.blogspot.com/search/label/ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy - as an innovative methodology in Anthropology. I'd like for readers to be able to visit virtual Harbin and have a Harbin experience, in their bathtubs, for example, for the meditative releasing action of the warm waters, - and write ethnographically about this. Naked Harbin is an actual-virtual ethnographic comparison based on extensive field work at actual Harbin Hot Springs, but comes into direct conversation with Boellstorff's "Coming of Age in Second Life," which is based on extensive field work in the 3D interactive virtual world of Second Life. My "Naked Harbin" also examines the significance of making a virtual field site for actual-virtual comparison. After you check in at the gate at Harbin, one resident who has worked there for years often says, "Go play." This ethnography of Harbin Hot Springs in northern California explicitly and theoretically brings together approaches to the comparative study of both the actual and virtual, by developing new methodologies in studying Harbin - as a kind of hippy or Alternative haven from modernity. Through this anthropological book and conceiving of virtual Harbin, you can begin not only to "be there" - to visit Harbin virtually in the text, as it were - but also to revisit the 1960s and its related freedom-seeking movements. Moreover, Harbin Hot Springs' clothing-optionality, spirituality and alternative culture are attractive in mysterious ways. In the way that Margaret Mead's work was theoretical and gained widespread attention at the same time, this book will appeal due to the broad interest in emerging interactive virtual worlds, as well as 1960's informed alternative Harbin's exotic, yet familiar, attractiveness, now mediated digitally. As information technologies and wondrous developments like virtual worlds continue to develop rapidly, I hope to engage you, the reader, further in the conversation about the creativity in countercultural thinking, in virtual worlds, in comparative ethnography, and in the experiences of interacting in this virtual Harbin, even as visitors to actual Harbin enjoy visiting this hot springs' retreat center. - Scott MacLeod http: //www.scottmacleod.com/ActualVirtualHarbinBook.html Academic Press at World University and School http: //worlduniversityandschool.org/AcademicPress.html
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