Themes in Ethnographic Research

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to meet the design research community of practice at Fjord (the design firm acquired by Accenture) in Chicago.  I was asked to speak to them about how anthropologists approach ethnographic research in a way that might be interesting or instructive for design research professionals.

ZS competes with Accenture at some of our clients, so I was challenged to prepare material that would protect the privacy of our clients, while still sharing something new and compelling for capable practitioners.  Over the weeks leading up to the event, I came up with the idea of sharing themes from the ethnographic research I’ve conducted over the years.  In that way I could share a variety of themes that have emerged in my research, while still keeping the presentation grounded in real stories.

What follows is an edited video of that presentation.  Enjoy!

Introduction (16:08)

Kinship & Power (12:55)

Space and Place, Economics, & Context (12:04)

Rituals, Rites of Passage, and Time (15:25)

Language (7:21)

Material Culture, Recommended Reading (5:58)

I would welcome your feedback on this content!  Did you enjoy the overview?  Are there themes that I missed?  Please leave me a note in the Comments, below.

Header image credit to Alexander Zonin.

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