Ethnography: Caught between myths

Isabella Simpson
Qualitative researchers in the commercial sphere often feel they can only do ‘ethnography light’. Isabella Simpson, senior research executive at Kantar Media, urges them to have more confidence, and challenges some of the myths surrounding the ethnographic approach.

“Commercial ethnography, if conducted rigorously, doesn’t need to be ‘light’, and experienced quallies are well placed to do it. This is why it is essential to look at ethnography as a way of thinking about the world and about people rather than an exotic, elusive and expensive technique defined by specific parameters or timeframes.”

Isabella Simpson has a BSc and a PhD in social anthropology from the London School of Economics.

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