That’s right, I’m in it

Written by QCR

This week we focused on ethnography, observational methods, and field notes; all of which are essential to our research this August at Lollapalooza. To supplement our reading from our textbook, we read the eminent ad fantastic article from Robert V. Kozinets about escaping marketing by conducting ethnographies at Burning Man, which describes all three of the topics we covered this week.

Here are our main takeaways from each topic:


  • The purpose of ethnographies is to understand people based on their groups/communities and how they identify their culture.
  • It is vital to be engaged, immersed, and participate in activities, habits, rituals, etc. to fully understand the motivations and the materialities of the culture that is being studied.
  • It is also important to note the researcher is participating in the culture of others to understand it, not to prove he or she can become a member of the group.

Observational Methods

  • Observational interviewing (in-home interviews) can be particularly insightful because the consumer is in a familiar environment and therefore acts more naturally.
  • Using cameras to record consumer interactions is becoming increasingly more popular. In addition to video, photos are often used to capture single events.

Field Notes

  • While being immersed in a culture, field notes are used to describe experiences and observations.
  • Notes are not just for what the researcher observed but what they felt and thought.
  • A “reflexive journal” can also be kept to record reflections and possible interpretations and theories.

Hannah, February 2017

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