Living in and adapting to a culture of exposure

Date of publication: November 20, 2008


In our world, the boundaries are shifting between the public, the personal and the private. Now that it is so easy to share aspects of our inner life with the rest of the world up-to-the-minute, multi-media, deeply exposing or personal revelations; we, as qualitative researchers, need to review whether our own practices should change in the wake of this cultural shift. When is it still relevant to promise the people we speak with that their footage won't show up on the Internet&; and, on the other hand, when is it more appropriate to incentivize respondents by the promise that it will? This is just one example of how dramatically the culture of exposure affects our craft. Drawing from our work with a fascinating array of people ranging from superbloggers to hermits, we'll share our learning on this broad cultural trend, and then go on to highlight what this means for qualitative research; how we need to adapt our methodologies to yield intimate dialogue with people in this new world, and evolve our interpretative models to maximize learning for our clients.

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