Ethnography as a methodology of generating marketing intelligence Essay

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This essay aims at critically measuring the value of descriptive anthropology as a research methodological analysis in bring forthing selling intelligence, both in the context of industry and academe. Huster ( 2005:13 cited in Trim and Lee 2008:733 ) suggested that marketing intelligence is ‘the ability to to the full understand, analyze, and assess the internal and external environment related to a company ‘s clients, rivals, markets, and industry to heighten the tactical and strategic decision-making procedure ‘ . In this facet, participant observation, the chief method used in ethnographic research ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) , plays an of import function. With direct engagement into a certain societal scene ( Brewer 2000 ) , it enables the research workers to understand the scene ( Rosen 1991 ) and construe the significances behind ( Arnould 1998 cited in Goulding 2005 ) by firsthand experience. This feature of descriptive anthropology should be able to assist research workers bring forth the needed selling intelligence for their chosen societal scene.

The essay is divided into four subdivisions. The first subdivision outlines the background of descriptive anthropology and explains the value of making ethnographic research. The 2nd subdivision explicates the undertakings prior to making ethnographic research, including deriving entree and readying work. The 3rd subdivision inside informations three of import facets of ethnographic research procedure: the function of research worker, trying techniques and informations aggregation methods. The last subdivision provides accounts on the methods of informations analysis and ethnographic study composing. The essay is structured in this manner in order to reexamine a smooth procedure of making research: from understanding the background and readying, so geting the needed accomplishments for the research, and eventually to the analysis and composing up. Individual subdivisions on industrial and academic scenes are included in each of the four chief subdivisions for readers to understand the specific issues related to these two scenes.

A instance survey is chosen for each of the scenes. For industrial country, the research survey by Ram ( 1996 ) on little houses in the vesture industry was used. The research is about pull offing labor and employment relationships ( Ram 1996 ) . It demonstrated the ability of descriptive anthropology in uncovering direction issues ( ibid. ) . Pull offing employee relationships, i.e. internal selling, is important to a house ‘s concern, because selling schemes could merely be successfully implemented with the support from employees ( Jobber 2007 ) . In academic research, it is the survey of consumer behavior that the potency of descriptive anthropology prevarications ( Pettigrew 2000 ) . Therefore the survey of Harley-Davidson-oriented subculture of ingestion ” ( HDSC ) by Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995:44 ) is used to show this potency. The survey proved the potency of descriptive anthropology in explicating the cultural communications from possessing a certain merchandise ( i.e. Harley-Davidson bikes ) ( Douglas and Isherwood 1979 cited in Pettigrew 2000 ) . Both instances are related to the context of marketing so that the ‘marketing ‘ intelligence generated from the ethnographic research could be used to show the value of descriptive anthropology.

Section ONE: Background OF ETHNOGRAPHY

Ethnographic research, as a methodological analysis ( Crotty 1998 ) , concerns with detecting significances behind what people say ( Goulding 2005 ) and how they act ( Arnould 1998 cited in Goulding 2005 ) in a peculiar societal scene. It aims to understand the universe from the point of position of the participants ( Crotty 1998 ; Barnes 1996 cited in Pettigrew 2000 ) . It is concerned with civilization ( Goulding 2005 ) , in which a peculiar civilization could be explained by the actions and experiences of the members in that civilization ( Arnould 1998 cited in Goulding 2005 ) . It could be applied to many different cultural scenes as good ( Boyle 1994 cited in Goulding 2005 ) .

Value of Ethnography

Participant observation plays an of import function in the ethnographic research procedure ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . It involves the ethnographer take parting in a group for a long period of clip ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ; Arnould 1998 cited in Goulding 2005 ; Sanday 1979 cited in Rosen 1991 ) , detecting the group members and interacting with them ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . Interpretations are so drawn from the direct engagement ( Geertz 1973 cited in Rosen 1991 ) . However, many bookmans were leery about the value of descriptive anthropology because of its subjective nature ( Atkinson 1992 etc. cited in Pettigrew 2000 ) . The collected informations are chiefly qualitative ( Rosen 1991 ) , therefore such informations are non valid in the scientific position ( Morgan 1983 cited in Rosen 1991 ) . However, the purpose of carry oning descriptive anthropology is to understand civilization ( Goulding 2005 ) . As civilization is composed by societal interactions among members ( Rosen 1991 ) , it could non be understood without societal engagement ( ibid. ) . Therefore, although descriptive anthropology is limited in that it provides merely one account in a certain status ( Pettigrew 2000 ) , the end of it is to let other people understand that certain civilization ( Rosen 1991 ) , alternatively of whether that account could be applied to other scenes ( ibid. ) .

Reason of Using Ethnography

A research worker adopts an ethnographic methodological analysis for his/her research because the methodological analysis is appropriate for researching his/her research subject and for showing the result of the research ( Rosen 1991 ) . The methodological analysis demonstrates its possible to be used whenever and wherever it is appropriate ( Goulding 2005 ) .

Industry

Ethnographic research in the industrial country is by and large termed as organisational descriptive anthropology. Organizational descriptive anthropology is different from general descriptive anthropology of analyzing the society ( Rosen 1991 ) sing its orientation on activities with concern ends ( ibid. ) . It should besides be noticed that organisational civilization is different from general social civilization ( ibid. ) with the belief that organisational civilization is more rational ( Spooner 1983 cited in Rosen 1991 ) , competitory ( Van Maanen 1987 cited in Rosen 1991 ) and political ( Rosen 1991 ) .

Value of Organizational Ethnography

As mentioned in the debut of Section One, the value of descriptive anthropology is non about whether it is applicable to other contexts ( Rosen 1991 ) . Similarly, in organisational research, it is non taking at anticipation or cogency ( ibid. ) . Alternatively, it is understood as a building for societal significances ( ibid. ) . Therefore descriptive anthropology should be able to research the civilization created and recreated in organisations ( ibid. ) . For case, Goulding ( 2005 ) mentioned that descriptive anthropology could be used to depict direction manner and interactions between sections.

Case Study

In the industry portion of the staying essay, the ethnographic survey adopted by Ram ( 1996 ) on little houses in the vesture industry would be used to explicate the value of organisational descriptive anthropology. The ground for the writer to follow an ethnographic attack in his research is its possible for direction research ( Ram 1996 ) and its ability to turn to facets on the ordinance of work ( ibid. ) . It besides assists the companies in groking the jobs of direction ( ibid. ) .

Academia

Ethnography has gained attending as an appropriate method in carry oning consumer research ( Pettigrew 2000 ) . In the selling sphere, ethnographic research possesses the potency for understanding ingestion ( ibid. ) and consumer behavior ( Johnson 1990 cited in Pettigrew 2000 ) . It could be used to understand the purchasing forms of consumers ( Pettigrew 2000 ) and the motives behind those forms ( Arnould and Wallendorf 1994 cited in Pettigrew 2000 ) .

Case Study

In academic research, it is the survey of consumer behavior that the potency of descriptive anthropology prevarications ( Pettigrew 2000 ) . Therefore the survey of Harley-Davidson-oriented subculture of ingestion ” ( HDSC ) by Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995:44 ) is used to show this potency. The survey proved the potency of descriptive anthropology in explicating the cultural communications from possessing a certain merchandise ( i.e. Harley-Davidson bikes ) ( Douglas and Isherwood 1979 cited in Pettigrew 2000 ) .

The ethnographic survey by Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995 ) on HDSC is provided for the account of academic ethnographic research. This survey is about understanding the circle of Harley-Davidson rockerss ( ibid. ) . It agrees with the premise provided by Douglas and Isherwood ( 1979 cited in Pettigrew 2000 ) that the societal significances derived from possessing a merchandise ( i.e. Harley-Davidson bikes ) could be interpreted from analysing the interactions between members and besides among members and non-members ( i.e. how the rockerss communicated among themselves and with non-bikers ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) ) . The life styles of rockerss, such as have oning certain vestures while driving the motorcycle and go toing mass meetings of Harley Owners Group ( HOG ) ( ibid. ) could besides be studied for which it is another potency of ethnographic research ( Stebbins 1997 cited in Goulding 2005 ) .

Section Two: Preparation FOR THE RESEARCH

Deriving entree into the relevant scene is a important measure for get downing the ethnographic research ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . Thus entree schemes should be carefully planned beforehand ( Brewer 2000 ) . Different ways could be used to derive entree harmonizing to changing instances ( ibid. ) .

Overt or Covert?

Ethnography could be done by an overt or covert function ( Brewer 2000 ; Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . The corresponding entree schemes could be influenced by following either function ( Brewer 2000 ) . A covert function benefits in the facets of gratuitous concern of negociating for entree ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) and a greater freedom within the societal scene ( Dalton 1959 cited in Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . Research workers could besides detect a truer image of the behavior of participants than if they declared their research worker function ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . However, this function besides entails the trouble of composing fieldnotes when the research worker is cognizant non to be discovered of his/her researching function ( Ditton 1977 cited in Bryman and Bell 2007 ) and the ethical issue of non obtaining consent from the participants ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . For an open function, entree has to be negotiated with the gatekeepers ( Brewer 2000 ) . Deriving entree may hold to done several times or with several persons ( ibid. ) . Despite the incommodiousness of deriving entree with an open function, it is more common ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) and it could perchance avoid the ethical issue of non acquiring consent from participants.

Combination of Theory and Field Techniques

Rosen ( 1991 ) mentioned that descriptive anthropology is non merely about roll uping informations and composing on those informations. It is alternatively a combination of societal theory and informations aggregation techniques ( ibid. ) . Social theory provides a footing for analysing and construing the corresponding informations ( ibid. ) . In order to develop the theory, research workers could prosecute some readings on bing literature on related subjects to obtain societal theoretical thoughts which are important in acquiring the way for roll uping informations and analysis of those informations ( ibid. ) .

Industry

In organisational descriptive anthropology, deriving entree entails a formal process of dialogue with direction ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . Research workers have to see the sensitiveness of their research subject which may impact their attack to derive entree through gatekeepers ( Brewer 2000 ) . It is normally gatekeepers who are their first contact ( Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) but it is sometimes hard to carry the relevant gatekeepers for entree ( e.g. Bogdan and Taylor 1975 cited in Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) . Therefore the most of import thing for the research worker is to be after carefully and strategically ( Van Maanen and Kolb 1985 cited in Bryman and Bell 2007 ) in order to be prepared for dialogue.

‘Domestic ‘ Puting

Sometimes, an timeserving attack may be suited for deriving entree ( Ram 1994 cited in Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . Rosen ( 1991 ) besides suggested that organisational ethnographers normally choose a research puting which is of the same civilization as their ain. Such as in the instance of Ram ‘s ( 1996 ) research, he was able to obtain entree through his cultural background, his household ‘s background and his work experience in the industry. Bing familiar with an industry, it is easier for the research worker both to derive entree to the field ( Spradley and McCurdy 1972 cited in Bryman and Bell 2007 ) and to understand the relevant civilization ( Alvesson 2003 cited in Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . However, the ethnographer is besides challenged with the consciousness of his/her ain civilization which may make trouble in detecting and understanding unapparent inside informations of the civilization ( Rosen 1991 ) . Research workers should be reminded to maintain a distanced head to the research puting so as to pull deeper penetrations into the civilization ( ibid. ) .

‘Foreign ‘ Puting

Apart from carry oning fieldwork in a scene which the research worker is familiar with, there are other scenes which research workers are of involvement but are foreign to them. Therefore some readyings have to be done in order to be familiarized with those scenes, such as acquiring some background information about the civilization and measuring the suited attacks for making research in the field ( Rosen 1991 ) . One readying attack suggested by Rosen ( 1991 ) was conducted by Ram ( 1996 ) in his research. It was to derive farther specific industry cognition through ‘reading, preparation, and/or experience ‘ ( Rosen 1991:16 ) . In the first phase of his research, Ram ( 1996 ) conducted interviews with employers of the little vesture houses in order to understand the jobs confronting the houses. This pattern would enable the research worker to pull more penetrations into how he perceives the field and may accordingly change his composing about the research ( Rosen 1991 ) .

Academia

The entree scheme utilized by Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995 ) on HDSC is to germinate from an foreigner of declaring their function as research worker to an insider of being one of the members of HDSC. This scheme was adopted because of the demand for socialization ( ibid. ) . Although functionaries provided the bikes and entree of mass meetings for them, they would non be able to affect into the rockerss ‘ circle easy without the procedure of familiarising with their civilization ( ibid. ) . Therefore declaring the function of research workers at the beginning of the survey enabled them to slowly acquire into the HDSC circle and besides avoided being misunderstood as Harley-Davidson functionaries ( ibid. ) .

Preparations

Two readyings suggested by Rosen ( 1991 ) were pursued by Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995 ) before and during the research. The first 1 was to be an foreigner at the beginning of the research ( ibid. ) . It agrees with the short stay scheme suggested by Sanday ( 1979 cited in Rosen 1991 ) . This scheme would enable research workers to hold some patterns in the field ( Rosen 1991 ) before the existent fieldwork starts. The 2nd 1 was to understand the background of the scene and the research attack from bing surveies ( ibid. ) . This was done by analyzing literature sing the norms and rites of the scene and by larning information through the informations aggregation procedure ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) .

Section Three: THE RESEARCH PROCESS

The research procedure consists of sing the function of research worker, trying and the informations aggregation methods. These three facets would be considered as follows.

The Role of Researcher

Ongoing entree is important in ethnographic research because of the necessity in accessing people apart from merely accessing the field ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . Therefore declaring the function of the research worker is of import in keeping relationships with members of the cultural scene ( ibid. ) . A unsmooth differentiation of research worker ‘s function could be an foreigner or insider ( Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) . However, this simple differentiation entails jobs ( Merton 1972 etc. cited in Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) . The acceptance of either function besides affects what information they are acquiring and how they are carry oning their research ( Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) . Bryman and Bell ( 2007 ) proposed that it would be more appropriate to follow more than one individual function during the research procedure so that more flexibleness could be allowed and the hazard of ‘going native ‘ could be avoided.

Sampling

After choosing the relevant instance for analyzing, it comes to the sampling of sources. It is indispensable for ethnographic research to acquire as more sources as possible ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ; Rosen 1991 ) , so that the research worker is able to research more facets of the cultural scene ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . However, trying the representative is more of import ( ibid. ) than merely a big but irrelevant sample.

We should besides be reminded that it is non merely people that we are trying in ethnographic research ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . Sampling within instances is besides of import ( Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) , such as taking the appropriate clip and context for research ( ibid. ) . People ‘s behavior may change during different times and in different topographic points ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ; Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) . Research workers should guarantee the sampling of appropriate times and contexts in order to capture sufficiently the relevant cultural patterns ( Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) and minimise the hazard of acquiring an uncomplete image ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) .

Data Collection

In ethnographic research, informations aggregation is an on-going procedure for which the information collected are being tested or verified for gestating the research worker ‘s theory until a suited theoretical account is formulated for which it suits the context of the research scene ( Rosen 1991 ) . It agrees with the impression of theoretical sampling, which entails the development of a theory from uninterrupted analysis of collected informations and determination of what information and where to roll up in the following phase ( Glaser and Strauss 1967 cited in Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . It constitutes to the sampling of non lone people but besides other scenes such as clip and context in ethnographic research ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) which was mentioned above in the ‘Sampling ‘ subdivision.

Research workers could use different methods for roll uping informations ( Arnould 1998 cited in Goulding 2005 ) . The most common methods are participant observation and interviews ( Goulding 2005 ) . In the procedure of roll uping informations, prolonged direct engagement is the chief feature ( Arnould 1998 cited in Goulding 2005 ) . Geting near to the sources is of import ( Rosen 1991 ) in order to bring forth readings of their actions ( Geertz 1973 cited in Rosen 1991 ) for understanding the societal interactions within the civilization ( Rosen 1991 ) .

Industry

In Ram ‘s ( 1996 ) research, he took an full insider function during his research procedure. Companies were the chief sampling marks for him ( Ram 1996 ) . Participant observation was besides used to bring out many complex direction issues within the industry ( ibid. ) .

The Role of Researcher

There were two phases of informations aggregation ( Ram 1996 ) . Apart from the first phase of interviews, Ram ( 1996 ) was an insider for the whole fieldwork procedure. Bing an insider could obtain entree to working cognition easier and derive more trust from members of the civilization than an foreigner ( Rosen 1991 ) . However, acquiring excessively near to the field may forestall the necessary nonsubjective position as a research worker ( Styles 1979 cited in Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) and consequence in an inability to equilibrate the researching and working function ( Rosen 1991 ) . This inability of equilibrating between the two functions may bring on struggles between the research worker and the sources and besides make emphasis to the research worker him/herself ( Rosen 1991 ) .

Sampling

The sampling in Ram ‘s ( 1996 ) research is to take companies for making his fieldwork. Three companies were chosen for which one of them was his household ‘s concern. Choosing a ‘domestic ‘ scene would enable the research worker to have just intervention as one of the members in the organisation ( Rosen 1991 ) . However, research workers may meet more research restraints and are capable to more duties as a working function than in a ‘foreign ‘ scene ( ibid. ) .

Ram ( 1996 ) besides conducted research in two other ‘foreign ‘ houses in order to bring forth more penetrations from comparing the same characteristic in the two houses. By affecting a ‘foreign ‘ scene, less research restraints are encountered by research workers ( Rosen 1991 ) , but research workers may non be reasonably treated as one of the members of the scene ( ibid. ) which may impede informations aggregation.

Data Collection

In his research, he used both participant observation and interviews as informations aggregation tools ( Ram 1996 ) . The 2nd phase, which is the more of import phase ( ibid. ) , is about prosecuting in fieldwork with direct engagement as an insider in the companies ( ibid. ) . Participant observation is the most relevant informations aggregation technique in descriptive anthropology ( Brewer 2000 ) . The close engagement associated with it helps researcher observe, experience and portion the interaction in the scene ( ibid. ) . The engagement allows the research worker non merely to interact in the procedure, but besides to add his/her ain emotions into the information ( ibid. ) . However, the scope of observation has physical restrictions ( ibid. ) , for which it would represent to merely a partial position of the scene ( ibid. ) . Therefore, guaranting observations at different times and locations would enable a more complete image of the cultural context ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ; Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) .

From his readings of the jobs in the industry, he expected an autocratic direction manner pervading the civilization of the houses with regard to the competitory nature of the industry ( Ram 1996 ) . However, after an drawn-out period of stay within the houses, he found out that it was non the instance ( ibid. ) . For case, labor had more negotiation power and direction had less regulating power than expected ( ibid. ) . It was due to the importance of employers in keeping relationship with external labor in order to be prepared for managing any pressing orders ( ibid. ) . There was besides the demand to keep costs and manage tight demands of clients ( ibid. ) . These state of affairss demonstrated the capacity of descriptive anthropology, which is the ability to link different position together in the current complex state of affairs ( Edwards 1992 cited in Ram 1996 ) . Researching more than one house besides demonstrated another strength of descriptive anthropology, which is the coevals of more apprehension of the same state of affairs from comparing two houses ( ibid. ) .

Academia

In the research of Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995 ) , they adopted an evolving function from an foreigner to an insider. Sampling of locations and sources are included in their research ( ibid. ) . They besides used assorted informations aggregation methods in their research, including the two common methods of interviews and participant observation ( Goulding 2005 ) and picture taking ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) .

The Role of Researcher

In the research of Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995 ) , the function adopted by them evolved from being an foreigner ( research worker ) to an insider ( members of HDSC ) . Bing an foreigner enables a more nonsubjective position of the societal scene ( Styles 1979 cited in Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) , leting a more valid research ( ibid. ) . A deeper apprehension and analyzing of the civilization would besides be enhanced ( Rosen 1991 ) . However, research workers were treated as non-members of HDSC by members in the first meeting ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) which may impede their engagement into the rockerss ‘ circle.

An insider function in the staying research procedure has the advantage of being able to interact in the subculture and accordingly penetrations could be drawn from the close engagement more easy ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . However, the job of ‘going native ‘ was caused by deep engagement ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) for which the research worker may non be able to prevail his/her researching function to detect the civilization by an nonsubjective position point ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ; Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) .

Sampling

The research workers used an emergent design as their sampling technique ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) , which entails the broadening of sample size every clip a new category of rockerss emerged ( ibid. ) . This attack is applied in the hope of capturing more inside informations of the complex HDSC consumer side ( ibid. ) . There are besides other issues of trying related to trying people and context. They are discussed in the separate subdivisions below.

‘Foreign ‘ Culture

The research scene was non a familiar civilization to the research workers at the beginning of the research ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . Prosecuting in a ‘foreign ‘ civilization benefits the research workers from holding fewer research restraints ( Rosen 1991 ) . However, research workers may non be treated as one of the members of the circle ( ibid. ) , as it was in the instance that the research workers were being treated as foreigners when they foremost accessed the HDSC group ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . However, a dramatic alteration of attitude was received after one of the research workers showed concerns of the mechanical job encountered by one of the rockerss ( ibid. ) . This action of consideration helped the research workers build a nexus between them and the rockerss ( ibid. ) and it was of great aid for them to affect in the rockerss ‘ circle.

Informants

The sampling of sources was done by standard demographic standards identified by the research workers ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . The classs generated from this pattern are referred to ‘observer-identified classs ‘ ( Lofland 1976 cited in Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) . As these classs are classified by research workers, it would be easier for the research workers to place each class and behavior analysis of them consequently. However, these classs may dwell of less cultural content than ‘member-identified classs ‘ ( Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) .

Some cardinal sources were besides identified by the research workers ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . These sources assisted the research workers for the drawn-out period of research and facilitated the entree to other cultural scenes of rockerss ( ibid. ) . However, being excessively reliant on these cardinal sources may blockade a scholarly position of the scene and may alternatively see the scene from the point of position of the sources ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) .

More Than One Location

Fieldwork was besides done in more than one location ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . Topographic points including mass meetings of different metropoliss and different auto trade names and other convenient locations such as members ‘ places, nines and eating houses are besides used to carry on the research ( ibid. ) . Making research in more than one location provides a wider position of the cultural context with a larger figure of rockerss ( ibid. ) . This enables the geographic expedition for more inside informations of the civilization than being restricted to merely one scene ( Collinson 1992 cited in Bryman and Bell 2007 ) .

Data Collection

Interviews, participant observation and picture taking were used as informations aggregation techniques by Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995 ) in their research. They are discussed individually in the subdivisions below.

Interviews

Interviews were conducted with corporate representatives of Harley-Davidson in order to acquire the selling position of HDSC ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . The sampling of representatives in different metropoliss and at different managerial degrees is representative plenty to let the research worker obtain more cognition from the officers ( Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) .

Participant Observation

Direct engagement is associated with participant observation ( Brewer 2000 ) . As an foreigner, the research workers felt a deficiency of sense of being a biker ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . In order to transform themselves to an insider, the research workers acquired their ain motorcycle and bought the needed vestures to have on when they rode the motorcycle ( ibid. ) . By acquiring their ain motorcycle, they were able to understand more about the feelings during the purchasing procedure and affiliated emotions on the stuff ownership ( ibid. ) .

The deeper engagement generated from the above actions enabled the research workers to derive entree to the chief sources ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . The research workers were besides benefited from holding better contacts with rockerss and being able to see the contact with non-biking universe by being a biker themselves ( ibid. ) . These benefits in bend produce a better apprehension of the biker ‘s civilization ( ibid. ) and besides acknowledge the rockerss ‘ publications ( ibid. ) . Reading these publications assisted the research workers on construing the information collected ( ibid. ) . Despite the listed benefits above, deep engagement runs the hazard of ‘going native ‘ ( ibid. ) , for which the research workers lost the continuity of their researching function ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ; Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) and accordingly resulted in the trouble of roll uping and analysing relevant informations ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) .

Photography

The research workers besides used picture taking as a information aggregation tool ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . The ocular images could assist the research workers view the lived records of their experiences in the scene ( Hill 1991 cited in Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . The images besides recorded the symbols associated with the civilization ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . However, picture taking is non suited as a tool for all research ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) , particularly in research for abstract issues ( ibid. ) .

Ongoing Procedure

Data aggregation was an on-going procedure in the research ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . This pattern allows research workers obtain more information on the same civilization at different times, particularly because of the nature that people behave otherwise during different clip periods ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ; Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) . However, this pattern may necessitate a alteration of wont for the research workers ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) , such as in the current instance that the research workers change their primary transit to siting a motorcycle in order to finish the sense of being a biker ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) .

However, despite the valuable penetrations that could be drawn from an ethnographic research, its drawn-out nature ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ; Arnould 1998 cited in Goulding 2005 ; Sanday 1979 cited in Rosen 1991 ) may non be practical in academic research ( Rosen 1991 ) . Because of the huge sum of articles that could be produced from one ethnographic research, faculty members perchance prefer traditional research methods which generate smaller figure of articles ( ibid. ) .

Section FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND WRITING ETHNOGRAPHY

Ethnography purposes at explicating the accustomed activities engaged by the members of the civilization ( Triandis 1980 cited in Pettigrew 2000 ) . During informations analysis, ethnographers involve in seeking for characteristics that assist the account of those activities ( Goulding 2005 ) . After completing informations analysis, the work of the research worker is to compose an organized account of that cultural context ( Rosen 1991 ) .

Datas Analysis

Ethnographic research purposes at understanding the significances behind people ‘s voices ( Goulding 2005 ) and actions ( Arnould 1998 cited in Goulding 2005 ) . A drawn-out procedure for construing the information is therefore needed ( Agar 1983 etc. cited in Goulding 2005 ) in order to bring forth illations from behind the face value of informations ( Goulding 2005 ) . The reading is known as ‘thick description ‘ ( Geertz 1973 cited in Rosen 1991 ) , which is a combination of people ‘s behavior and the significances behind those behaviors ( Rosen 1991 ) . Thick description provides a complete reading of an action, which includes the action itself, the significances behind the action and its possible patterned advance ( Denzin 1989 cited in Brewer 2000 ) . It is an of import end product of descriptive anthropology for which it provides penetrations to the significances behind certain consumer bahaviour ( Mick 1986 etc. cited in Pettigrew 2000 ) . In add-on, it is a characteristic of descriptive anthropology to supply a combined position from both foreigners and insiders for bring forthing a deeper apprehension of the cultural context ( Goulding 2005 ) .

Writing Ethnography

Apart from forming informations from fieldnotes, memories and readings, it is every bit of import for the ethnographer to make up one’s mind how to put him/herself into the written end product of the research ( Clifford and Marcus 1986 etc. cited in Rosen 1991 ) . Van Maanen ( 1987 cited in Rosen 1991 ) proposed three placements that could be adopted by research workers in their written study, runing from being absent from the study to being a narrative Teller of the whole research procedure. It is capable to the type of the audiences of the research that the research worker chooses one of the attacks for authorship ( Rosen 1991 ) .

Industry

In Ram ‘s ( 1996 ) research, he utilized a integration method ( Goulding 2005 ) in information analysis. Then he applied an impressionist attack ( Rosen 1991 ) in composing his study.

Datas Analysis

Ram ( 1996 ) listed two subjects in his diary: market and store floor, and explained them individually in the diary. Thus his informations analysis used one of the analysis methods suggested by Goulding ( 2005 ) , which is to reorganize the notes into their ain subjects, i.e. market or store floor. It is a more general method of analysis ( ibid. ) , and it entails less work than content analysis which is to use labels of constructs on each phrase of the texts ( ibid. ) . However, analysing the big sum of informations obtained from fieldwork requires sufficient clip and attempt ( Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) , which may non be really applicable in organisational descriptive anthropology, as Bryman and Bell ( 2007 ) mentioned that the ground for less research workers making organisational descriptive anthropology is the time-consuming nature of carry oning fieldwork.

Writing Ethnography

In composing his findings, Ram ( 1996 ) utilized an impressionist attack suggested by Rosen ( 1991 ) . In composing the observations and his readings, he used “ I ” to place himself in the text and he included extracts from the directors during the fieldwork ( Ram 1996 ) . This attack enables the readers to concentrate on the parts which the research worker regarded as the most of import ( Van Maanen 1987 cited in Rosen 1991 ) . The readers would be able to understand non merely the emotion feelings of the writer when carry oning the research ( Rosen 1991 ) but besides his/her firsthand experiences in the field ( Van Maanen 1987 cited in Rosen 1991 ) . However, this type of subjective authorship may forestall the readers from understanding the nonsubjective position of the cultural scene which should be a more dependable history for public audience ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) .

Academia

In the research of Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995 ) , they used the same information analysis method as that used by Ram ( 1996 ) in his research, which is the integration method. In composing their study, Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995 ) utilized a realist attack ( Rosen 1991 ) to show their findings.

Datas Analysis

The research of Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995 ) besides utilized the same information analysis method as that used by Ram ‘s ( 1996 ) research, for which the fieldnotes were divided into smaller parts and so those little parts were categorized into parts with different topics ( Goulding 2005 ) . The research workers foremost separated the informations to organize different classs ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . Concepts were so developed for each of the classs ( ibid. ) . This attack appears to be systematic and organized, but the long clip needed for get bying with the big sum of informations ( Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) would be an extra beginning of force per unit area confronting faculty members in making descriptive anthropology, for which faculty members would prefer more convenient traditional research methods to ethnography ( Rosen 1991 ) .

Writing Ethnography

The research workers used a realist attack ( Rosen 1991 ) in composing their findings. They mentioned in the diary that there were witting of maintaining a distanced position between their authorship and their past engagement in HDSC ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . They did non include their researcher function in the findings and the transitions were merely narrations of their readings ( ibid. ) . The advantage of this attack is that readers would be allowed to understand the findings in a more realistic manner ( Rosen 1991 ) without any personal emotions included in the text. However, they may non be able to see how the research workers understood certain cultural contexts in the scene ( ibid. ) .

Decision

This essay listed some of the issues that research workers need to pay attending to when they are sing whether to utilize descriptive anthropology or when they are utilizing descriptive anthropology as their research methodological analysis. A common point to see whether carry oning the research in the industrial or academic field is sing the value of participant observation. Participant observation is the major method used in descriptive anthropology ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . Ethnography is chiefly different from other traditional research methods in footings of the direct engagement associated with participant observation ( Brewer 2000 ) . Participant observation offers many advantages such as a closer review of the cultural scene which could assist research workers bring forth more penetrations and significances than without the engagement ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . However, ethical issues have to be considered when making participant observation ( Goulding 2005 ) . Research workers have to see if the members of the civilization knew the presence of a research worker, the extent to which they knew about the research, the activities pursued by research workers during the research and the extent of engagement by the research worker in the research scene ( Atkinson and Hammersley 1995 cited in Goulding 2005 ) .

There are besides some issues in carry oning descriptive anthropology which are different between industrial and academic scenes. From what the instance of Ram ( 1996 ) shows, ethnographic research helps the companies discover the expected scene of direction in the industry was really different from the existent instance, such as the labor were thought to be controlled by the direction but in fact they had dialogue power within the industry. The direct engagement of the research workers helped recognize the state of affairs and jobs in the industry ( ibid. ) , for which it would non be that efficient with traditional research methods.

For the academic scene, the survey of HDSC by Schouten and McAlexander ( 1995 ) showed the potency of ethnographic research in understanding the features of ingestion civilization ( Goulding 2005 ) . Issues like the feelings of having a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, familiarising the rockerss ‘ publications all assisted the research workers in pulling penetrations about HDSC ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) . However, the direct engagement besides induced the job of ‘going native ‘ , which is the doomed of sense of being a research worker ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ; Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) which may impede informations aggregation and analysis ( Bryman and Bell 2007 ) . The research workers were cognizant of that and they employed some methods of avoiding it consequently ( Schouten and McAlexander 1995 ) .

A concluding reminder is that research workers should see carefully before get downing their research utilizing ethnographic attack. They should see the nature of their research scene and formulate appropriate entree schemes, informations aggregation methods, signifier of analysis and composing attack consequently. They should remind the demanding nature of making fieldwork and the possible long clip needed for informations analysis ( Hammersley and Atkinson 2007 ) .

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