At the end of any press interview, i’m inevitably asked to label myself. What they really want is an easy -ist word. Y’know – computer scientIST, anthropologIST, biologIST, psychologIST, artIST… This part of the interview always makes me squirm more the most. I don’t have an ist and usually, i don’t want one but it’s really becoming a pain in the ass. I usually try to squeeze out of it by saying that i’m a PhD student in the School of Information at the University of California, but sometimes, that’s not enough.
I often sheepishly call myself an anthropologist which, when concerning MySpace would be mostly accurate given that i’m doing a full-on ethnography of it situated in anthropological theories but i’m also not really accepted by the anthropologists as one of them. Sometimes, i think that i should call myself a cultural theorist since that’s sorta right, but at the same time, i’m more of a cultural observer and documenter than a theorist. At least so far. And the observer part sounds so not professional. I’ve tried accepting informationist but that just sounds so wrong. While i love what information schools are trying to do, i don’t think of them as creating -ists. Of course, that’s true for most “schools” like law, education, business. Could you imagine being a businessist? Ugg.
So i want an -ist. Who wants to bestow me an -ist?