Ethnography is a method of research within the broader discipline of Anthropology.
Ethnography is from the Greek word ethnos, which means "folk, people, nation" and grapho, which means "I write." It is the systematic study of people and cultures, with an emphasis on providing detailed, in-depth description of everyday life and practice.
It is a process of observing, listening, understanding and describing other people.
Ethnography is a qualitative research technique that relies on relatively few people, versus quantitative research which is statistically oriented.
It is in the consumer context in which Brad Bennett practices ethnography. We spend extended periods of time with consumers and enter their world so we can observe and understand what they say, do and how they do it. The emphasis is not just on questioning, self-reported answers and conversation, but is also on observation.
The benefits of consumer ethnography are that we:
- Understand context and history
- Consider the surroundings and relationships
- Observe behavior first hand
- See the emotional impact
- Learn about contradictions
- Capture articulated and unarticulated motivations and needs
The result is both a deeper and wider understanding than many other research methods provide.