Over the past decade, ethnography has been embraced by the business community. But the term “ethnography” has been used fairly loosely and expectations about the work and final outcomes vary as much as the people calling themselves ethnographers. Many researchers who feel at ease interviewing people in a “natural” setting claims to be doing ethnography but this is often not the case. Trained ethnographers do more than talk with people – they rely on a set of analytical tools that take experience and specialized training.
This blog, yet another in the sea of shining blogs, is one anthropologist’s perspective on the role of ethnography and the social sciences in the context of business and design. Ethnography provides a real-world way of looking at a problem or opportunity, applying social and cultural understanding to the topic. What this means is that ethnography provides a wide range of answers that, if analyzed properly, go well beyond the tactical, the sensational, and the superficial. This blog is my take on design and business issues out there that anthropology can add value to. It is about throwing out insights and ramblings that will help change the way businesses look at problems and define solutions.
So enjoy (or hate, should you feel so inclined).