Edited by Russell W. Belk
Chapter 39: Grasping the Global: Multi-sited Ethnographic Market Studies
Dannie Kjeldgaard, Fabian Faurholt Csaba and Güliz Ger Introduction In recent years, the ﬁeld of marketing and consumption research has seen a rise in studies applying ethnographic methods (Arnould and Wallendorf, 1994; Arnould and Thompson, 2005). A number of these studies have utilized a multi-sited research approach (Marcus, 1995). This chapter discusses the emergence and principles of multisited ethnography: how it diﬀers from cross-cultural and single-sited ethnographic research, and how it applies to marketing and consumer research. A central argument is that multi-sited ethnographic market studies are particularly pertinent in investigations which speciﬁcally attempt to grasp global or globalizing market conditions and relations. Describing and analyzing the complexities of market phenomena of an interlinked and interdependent social world, a multi-sited ethnographic approach studies globalization ‘from within’ rather than as an external inﬂuencing factor on local market realities. Where traditional ethnographic work in anthropology suggests the deep immersion in and thick description of a single locality, multi-sited ethnography argues that to immerse oneself deeply in a transnational phenomenon one must abandon the privilege of the locality, embrace mobility and ‘go with the ﬂow’ (Burawoy, 2000; Hannerz, 2003). Globalization challenges the units of analysis of traditional cross-cultural research as well as the objects and premises of traditional ethnography. Multi-sited ethnographic inquiry can bring out the multifaceted character of globalization through the analysis of diﬀerent experiences of its impact on communities, but also by studying the speciﬁc networks, ﬂows and connections that constitute the social–cultural and...
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