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Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods in Marketing

Edited by Russell W. Belk

The Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods in Marketing offers both basic and advanced treatments intended to serve academics, students, and marketing research professionals. The 42 chapters begin with a history of qualitative methods in marketing by Sidney Levy and continue with detailed discussions of current thought and practice in: research paradigms such as grounded theory and semiotics; research contexts such as advertising and brands; data collection methods such as projectives and netnography; data analysis methods such as metaphoric and visual analyses; presentation topics such as videography and reflexivity; applications such as ZMET applied to Broadway plays and depth interviews with executives; and special issues such as multi-sited ethnography and research on sensitive topics.
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Chapter 21: Writing Pictures/Taking Fieldnotes: Towards a More Visual and Material Ethnographic Consumer Research

Lisa Peñaloza and Julien Cayla


21 Writing pictures/taking fieldnotes: towards a more visual and material ethnographic consumer research Lisa Peñaloza and Julien Cayla Introduction Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things. (Georgia O’Keeffe) Ethnographic methods are especially well suited to capturing and analyzing consumption behavior. From the multisensorial consumption Mecca of Mall of America (Csaba, 1999) to passengers traveling in Parisian subway trains (Floch, 1989), shoppers strolling in a farmer’s market (Heisley et al., 1991b) or tourists wandering through the streets of an unfamiliar town (Ladwein, 2002a), ethnographic studies of visual images and material artifacts allow us to draw meanings from the experiential and kinesthetic aspects of consumption: people moving their bodies through consumption spaces, interacting with artifacts in those spaces and forging their identities and social worlds. They help us go beyond talk and text about what consumers do to provide a more holistic account of consumption behavior. We focus here on two ethnographic methods, recording and analyzing field observations in fieldnotes and photography. The writing of fieldnotes is a standard activity in ethnography. The researcher enters a social setting, participates in the daily routines of that setting and regularly writes down what s/he observes and learns. Virtually every anthropologist uses fieldnotes to record their observations, insights and analysis. They try to get close to the people they are studying and describe their ways of life in detail. Geertz (1973) talks of...

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