Friday, May 22, 2009

Ethnographic reading list

Last week I posted a discussion/question on Linkedin asking you to recommend books on ethnographic research. Thank you to all who replied. I am sharing for the benefit of all. If you would like to add to this list please send me your suggestion for inclusion.

Qualitative Data by Auerbach and Silverstein. Been using the method for qualitative user research among staff and clients of multinationals for years. Best presentation of the systematic application of the method. Recently used it to create hypotheses about perception of internal publications in a bank. These can open the road to new ways of publishing internally.

Research Methods in Anthropology H. Russell Bernard. He is on his 4th ed. now.

They Lie, We Lie: Getting on with Anthropology

And, for methods: Ethnography in Organizations by Schwartzman

Doing Anthropology in Consumer Research by Patricia L. Sunderland and Rita M.Denny.

(Paper) Contextmapping: experiences from practice by FROUKJE SLEESWIJK VISSER!, PIETER JAN STAPPERS, REMKO VAN DER

Design Research: Methods and Perspectives by Brenda Laurel

(Paper) Persuasive Encounters: Ethnography in the Corporation by Brigitte Jordan and Brinda Dalal

Ethnography: Step by Step, by David Fetterman (Sage Publications)
Making Sense of Qualitative Data, by Amanda Coffey and Paul Atkinson (also Sage)

Cross-Cultural Filmmaking; A Handbook for Making Documentary and Ethnographic Films and Videos, by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor (University of California Press, 1997)

and my second favourite is Transcultural Cinema by David MacDougall, (Princetown University Press, 1998)

Through Navajo Eyes by Adair and Worth didn't make the list? -K.E.

From a business perspective: Doing Anthropology in Consumer Research. Patricia L. Sunderland and Rita M. Denny.

Nigel Barley’s The Innocent Anthropologist: Notes from a Mud Hut (highly recommended)


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dear American Airlines...

I think every consultant should do what, Dustin Curtis has done, with a client of their choice, at least once a year. Speak your mind no constraints and shoot from the hip.

I found this on Twitter by the way.

UPDATE: The UX architect from AA actually replied and it's a very interesting read. Please read all the way down to The permeation of bad taste and large organizations.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Would you like to help us with a trial?

We are in the process of arranging an ethno-immersion (my expression, love it or hate it) with a household in the UK. An ethno-immersion means this: one of my colleagues will hang out with a household over a day. He or she will provide regular text, photo and video updates, by objectives agreed in advance.

Those of you selected to follow the household (via your computers or hand help devices) will be able to collaborate, as live, by asking us to ask specific questions, take specific pics or explore ideas. And updates will be generated roughly every hour in the form of digests depending on what we are observing at what time of day. In otherwords, followers will not be tied to their laptops or continuously interrupted by text messages.

We are looking for ten followers and I invite you to get in touch with me if you are interested.

I look forward to hearing from you.

UPDATE: Thank you to all who got in touch wishing to take part. We now have the required number of followers. Watch this space.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How good are you at adding meaning?

Have just returned from a fantastic workshop we ran at Oxford University SAID Business School. We used live client footage from a recent study to set a series of tasks, both interpretive and innovations focused.

70 MBA students took part. And the outputs presented back to us were awe-inspiring given how little time they had to prepare. Also, for many, it was their first exposure to any kind of research.

On the long drive back to Brussels (yes I drove to and from ) I wondered how you (Ethnosnacker Group) would handle the task of adding meaning to a clip. Take the above for example. It is a conversation between father and sons and it was completely un-prompted. I know because I filmed it. Watch it and using 'comments' below, write out in a few sentences what this clip would mean to a retail bank.

I know you are at a disadvantage with little or know context, but this is an exercise in creative thinking, seeing what isn't happening and linguistic analysis. If you are using an analytical/interpretive tool to deconstruct, please share. Whichever way you choose to analyse this clip, go ahead and watch it a number of times. Then set your reply out, if it helps, under these headings: 1) Insight, 2) Meaning and 3) Implication... all for a retail bank. Don't labour over this, keep it light and easy.

The best reply (I won't be the only judge) will win a really cool book.

The best of luck! Share/Bookmark

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cultivators hunter gatherers and scavengers - the future of research

Which one are you? This is a link to a summary of, John Griffiths 'Hunter gatherer scavenger' talk. Following our discussion last year, John has developed his ideas into a paper which was presented at the MRS conference in March.

Enjoy and let us know which you think you are/will be.