Understanding from within
Many consumer and marketing research techniques have been adopted from other disciplines ranging from statistics to demography, from social sciences to studies in communication theories and economics. Yet a holistic approach, like ethnography, has not been widely used by the practicing researchers, at least not in India. The authors adopted the enthnographic methodology widely used in anthropology and cultural studies but adapted it to suit the requirements of consumer research. This paper presents the general conceptual framework of the ethnographic method as well as the modifications made by them. Finally the paper aims to demonstrate through illustrations from an ethnographic study conducted by the authors, how judicious application of this method can enrich in-depth understanding of socio- cultural frame-work of the consumer which, in the final analysis, affects the consumption pattern.
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