#4

Por nettizen - 20 de Noviembre, 2005, 23:47, Categoría: para leer

Estoy a punto de terminar la lectura del libro Qué es la antropología de Marc Augé y Jean Paul Colleyn (Paidós, 2005) y no puedo esperar más para recomendar arduamente su lectura porque además de su brevedad, su claridad expositiva es impresionante, posiblemente sea uno de los mejores libro introductorios a la antropología que he leído :)

Dicho esto, también me gustaría apuntar una interesante reseña (Ethnography for all? Book Review) sobre el libro Ethnography for Marketers  de Hy Mariampolski (SAGE, 2005) que he leído en Ideas Bazaar en la que se aborda el papel de los antropólogos y etnógrafos en las empresas y parece que el balance no es muy halagüeño. Para Simon Roberts (autor de la susodicha reseña) se podría plantear que desde una perspectiva académica, en la actividad empresarial se pierden demasiados matices del trabajo de la antropología/etnografía, o dicho de otra manera, sólo el trabajo de campo y su praxis y gestión es lo que importa -esto es, la investigación etnográfica en detrimento de la reflexión antropológica,

"The bulk of the book is a "How to", which outlines, often in relentless detail, how an ethnography project is set up, managed and conducted. For seasoned researchers who want to include ethnographic research within their portfolio, a significant proportion of the central sections of the book will be very useful (e.g. the observation guides and respondent orientation) and others fairly self-evident (e.g. recruitment)."

más claro en estos pasajes,

"This focus on the practical and logistical is understandable but it betrays a common confusion as to what ethnography is, its roots and how this informs what we do as researchers and what we give our clients. Mariampolski seems to be writing about one aspect of ethnography, the act of doing fieldwork, focusing almost exclusively on being in the field.

Ethnography, however, is as much about interpretation, the post-fieldwork-fieldwork, as it is conducting participant observation. Ethnographers can draw on a wide body of literature, concepts and intellectual tools that allow them to make sense of their experiences. It is the "making sense" that is the productive, valuable activity and what clients pay researchers to do.

To focus so strongly on the fieldwork seems to me to reveal the dynamics of the market research industry itself: namely "fetishise" the method, commodify it and then sell it by the unit. Ethnography offers the opportunity to sell thinking not research, but this book offers little in the way of insight into how to think ethnographically. Indeed, the "Observation/ Debriefing notes" (p.233-4) reveal little that I wouldn"t expect to glean from doing groups, underlining the fact that there is a critical difference between doing ethnographic research and writing or thinking ethnographically."

Y finalmente Simon remata la faena en los siguientes párrafos,

"The emergence of disagreements about what ethnography is and who can do it is a sure sign that it has reached the status of orthodoxy within market research. My own reading of this book is, itself, a reflection of my own academic and professional biases and presuppositions (I"m an anthropologist).

This book will undoubtedly find a niche, appealing to those wanting to know more about ethnography and how to do it (the fieldwork, that is). I would, however, end by making one polemical point. Mariampolski refers throughout to "consumers": that breed of people who seemingly do nothing but clean their stoves, prepare meals and make brand-driven decisions.

One promise of ethnography is that it can restore some of the intricacies, contradictions and subjectivity that most market research narratives seem intent on obscuring. If ethnography is about one thing it"s about recognising that people are more than just consumers; their lives are more multi-faceted. If we"re going to understand people on their terms then let"s ditch our language and start adopting theirs."

En suma, la tensión entre "mundos sociales" configuradores de realidad y los métodos para aproximarnos a ellos y los resultados de los mismos.

Y por último y para terminar esta entrada qué mejor que unas gotas de "realidad". Primera celebración de la Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (organizada por etnógrafos de Intel y Microsoft). Noticia del acontecimiento en Technology Review, Corporate Ethnography y seguimiento de la misma en el blog de Dina Mehta (aquí (16/11), aquí (15/11) y aquí (14/11)).

ciao!

ps.- no perderse esta curiosa pero interesantísima entrada Anthropology of trash: An anthropologist as garbge collector.


[actualizo -22-11-06-] Acabo de encontrar esta referencia ( A brief hiatus from my hiatus to try to make sense of things) en el que se se siguen dando vueltas al asunto de la antropología/etnografía corporativa. A reseñar, la referencia a Lucy Suchman con esta/su cita:


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