A colleague in Los Angeles alerted me to a Los Angeles Times news article about researchers and research on Burning Man. The article starts off with Wendy Clupper’s research on the traditional Critical Tits ride, continues with the ongoing documentary work by Stanford B-school Prof. Jim Phills (both of us trained under Harvard Prof. Richard Hackman, albeit at different times), my research on the organization behind Burning Man, and Lee Gilmore’s research on spirituality and ritual at Burning Man.
One of the article’s unattributed quotes (“One professor concluded that Burning Man is an “organizational mutant,” not quite a business or a nonprofit…”) is by University of Arizona Prof. Joe Galaskiewicz, who was one of the first sociologists who wholeheartedly supported my efforts to study Burning Man.
Have a student or colleague who needs a quick summary of scholarly research and references across the disciplines on Burning Man, as well as possible avenues for future research? The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology has just published my entry on Burning Man.
The Blackwell Encyclopedia was edited by sociologist George Ritzer and his graduate students, including J. Michael Ryan, at the Dept. of Sociology, University of Maryland. Ritzer is best known for the concept McDonaldization, which describes the relentless spread of “efficiency, predictability, calculability and increased control through the replacement of human with non-human technology” across society. Those of you who are interested in understanding consumption might also like his newest writings on prosumption, in which consumers both produce and consume products or experiences.