A taste of ethnography


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Slides Robin Pharoah and I used to run a workshop at the Social Research Association conference in December

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A taste of ethnography

  1. 1. Hello Dr. Robin Pharoah Sophia Parker
  2. 2. Ethnography Comparison Contextualisation What is ethnography? Ethnography fieldwork Theory / Anthropology
  3. 3. Ethnography broken down MORE THAN FIELDWORK Writing / narrative Theory Fieldwork / data collection Embedded analysis (comparison, contextualisation etc.)
  4. 4. Where is ethnography? WITHIN AND WITHOUT ACADEMIA Commercial ethnography (Microsoft, Intel, Procter and Gamble etc.) Policy (Central government) Local policy (Local government) Third sector (User and community groups)
  5. 5. Where is ethnography? WITHIN AND WITHOUT ANTHROPOLOGY Can you do ethnography without being an anthropologist or having a grounding in anthropological theory? How do you train to be an ethnographer? The ‘third eye’? Anthropological fieldwork and anthropological goals Sociology and psychology The rite/right of passage (the pain… the hurt…)
  6. 6. Migrants in Westminster EXPLORING MIGRANT LIFESTYLE AND CHOICES… 4 migrant groups (Chinese, Arab, Australian, Polish) Cut through all theoretical problems - make assumptions - why get bogged down? Four anthropologists/ethnographers One week with each ‘community’. Various routes in.
  7. 7. The Butchers
  8. 8. The Gardeners
  9. 9. Building personas Put yourself in their shoes
  10. 10. Building personas What problems might this family face?
  11. 11. Building personas Building personas What strategies might these families use to cope?
  12. 12. Reflections, comments, thoughts Culture of poverty
  13. 13. New ways of seeing BROADENING WHAT COUNTS AS ‘EVIDENCE’ Beyond individualised data Beyond behavioural perspectives Beyond consultation
  14. 14. Families are expert budget managers MONEY IS A DAILY CHALLENGE the ‘milky bar’ economy money costs more when you’re poor daily juggling act - compare to benefits system range of strategies for managing - including ‘going without’
  15. 15. Level of trust in services varies FAMILIES WILL DENY THEY NEED HELP families distinguish themselves from those ‘in need’ trust in individuals rather than services value placed on volunteers as ‘genuine’ fear of judgement and consequences of admitting need for help
  16. 16. But did this make any difference?
  17. 17. We worked out our stakeholders
  18. 18. We were ruthless about our team
  19. 19. We involved the people that mattered
  20. 20. We turned insights into action
  21. 21. Impact of the work “I wouldn’t have thought of doing it that way had I not been involved with this work.” “I thought we worked on the ground, but this has shown me that we really don’t … the approach here has challenged our assumptions about what’s needed.” “I’ve never done anything like this before - and from now on I’ll do things differently.” ”This is more thinking than I've done in the last 6 months.quot; quot;Thanks for making us put ourselves in other people's shoes and think.quot;
  22. 22. Thanks and goodbye robin.pharoah@esro.co.uk sophia.parker@mac.com