Performers and partners

Date of publication: November 10, 2002


This paper explores the role of video in ethnographic U.S. market research. We suggest that video is the fantasy du jour for marketers and the question we pose is why? What has made videotape so appealing and so seductive? The belief in video's objectivity? Video's tangible and physical record? Its promise of entertainment? We address these questions by discussing a particular form of video research - the Video Diary - used in our own work. In doing so, we illustrate assumptions and conventions surrounding the medium, and address the cultural context that frames respondents' behavior in qualitative research, a frame that renders them as both performers and partners.

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