OPINION22 March 2011

Evolving ethnography

It’s time for a change in the way the research industry uses ethnography, Truth director Mark Thorpe told the masses at Research 2011 this morning. But how?

Thorpe thinks that the industry needs to “think again about what ethnography can do for us” and start thinking of what the next stage in the evolution of the disclipline is.

He suggested that the industry should integrate ethnography with semiotics and material culture to “help tell the story”. It would be “wonderful” to bring these three approaches together, he said.

But for this to happen, Thorpe said researchers needed to start asking themselves some important questions: Should boundaries be blurred? And is there a need for organisational change to allow for this integration of disciplines?