AMY MAISH

Contributed Articles

Larger than Life: Personal and Social Transitions within Type 2 Diabetes

LISA REICHENBACH and AMY MAISH Type 2 diabetes, a chronic illness, is reaching epidemic proportions in North America. Pharmaceutical and consumer companies alike are embracing ethnography as a means to gain insight into the condition and to meet the complex needs of diabetics. This paper explores three topics that emerged from our ethnographic work in this area. First, we discuss the contribution of ethnography towards understanding the lived experience of Type 2 diabetes. Second, we suggest Type 2 diabetes should be viewed as a meta-transition that encapsulates four types of transition, each of which is an important aspect of the diabetic experience, and which may provide critical insights in an applied context. Third, we argue that applied ethnography can be dramatically enriched by an anthropologically and theoretically informed approach, without which the experience of, and transitions within, Type 2 diabetes cannot be fully understood and the social and business benefits maximized....

Not Lost in Translation: Maximizing Impact in Marketing Ethnography through Bivocality

AMY MAISH and MAGDA WESOLKOWSKA The bivocal approach is a systematic research and strategy framework that leverages marketing professionals’ and social scientists’ unique perspectives in order to develop brand, consumer and cultural insights relevant to the business challenge. Thus allowing all voices to be heard equally and clearly: that of the social scientist and the marketing professional, that of culture, consumer and brand. It results in an explanation for the forces at play on the brand or business questions and acts as a cultural GPS for the brand. The explanatory nature and consistent connection between brand, consumer and culture allow for a highly grounded, and we would assert, more powerfully informed set of actions, including, when, how, and why brands/products are used or could be used by consumers....