University of Arizona
HANNE PICO LARSEN
Copenhagen Business School
The paper outlines a methodological approach for investigating how consumers create brand meaning using the material resources companies provide. The approach draws from Material Engagement Theory—to discuss the role of consumers in creating patterns of meaning by engaging with objects. It also explicates the role of objects in supporting this patterning. We explain how an in-situ diary tool (dscout, in our case) can be useful to support this approach. We demonstrate our methodological approach in the context of the Red Rooster Harlem, a cosmopolitan restaurant in New York, owned by the celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson....
JONATHAN BEAN and ZEYNEP ARSEL
While theories of practice have been influential in the social sciences, these frameworks have seen limited application in ethnographic and applied inquiry, perhaps because few methods for carrying out practice theoretical research have been elaborated. We address this opportunity and provide an account of a multi-method inquiry on domestic practice. First, we explain methods for integrating data from blogs with ethnographic methods and how this data can be used to develop theory. Second, we share our experience as interdisciplinary researchers using ethnographic and quantitative data to connect work at the boundaries of social practice theory and theories of consumption. Finally, we share our insights on why industry should aim to better understand existing and emergent consumer practices....
This paper discusses a method I used to conduct a study of hygge, a Danish concept that is usually translated as “cosiness.” I wanted to learn more about hygge and how it related to technology in the home. The method I used builds on my experience with spatial ethnography, on Bruno Latour’s theory of representation, and on the work of visual anthropologist Sarah Pink. I asked participants to use a video or still camera to help me document their home. With participant and researcher both behind the lens of a camera, I saw a significant remapping of the power relationship between researcher and participant; we were able to focus together on the material home as the object of the research. In addition to reducing the time needed to build rapport, this method offers a way to analyze cultural practices such ashygge that are not entirely visible in the material world....