The Anthropologist as a City Bus Driver: Researching Urban Transport Using Autoethnography



Słowa kluczowe:

city bus drivers, urban transport research, autoethnography, mobilities, occupational culture, Prague


This article examines city bus drivers’ behaviour, culture, and daily life in their work environment – particularly their mutual communication, relationships between drivers and passengers, issues faced, and feelings experienced by city bus drivers when performing their job. I present data through autoethnographic testimony depicting my personal experience as an anthropologist-bus driver in Prague. The terrain showed that autoethnography is a crucial research tool for obtaining otherwise difficult-to-access data in the urban environment of occupational culture. I argue that to obtain valid information, it is possible to become members of the researched community and try to think like them. To avoid excessive subjectivity, rather than engaging in collaborative autoethnography, I rather propose contextualizing personal testimony within scholarly literature as well as the experiences of co-workers gained through interviews conducted from the position of a non-researcher.


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Smrčka, A. (2022). The Anthropologist as a City Bus Driver: Researching Urban Transport Using Autoethnography. Journal of Urban Ethnology, 20, 229–247.