autoethnography

Researching the Researcher: How I Used Data Analysis to Understand My Reading Habits

STEPHEN Ó MATHÚNA Workday PechaKucha Presentation—The digital world has given us unprecedented access to information about ourselves. As human beings we can quantify ourselves on the basis of how much we eat, how much we exercise, how many miles we've travelled, among dozens of other facets of our lives. As technology gives us access to more and more 1s and 0s, our ability to measure and codify ourselves grows exponentially. But these data can tell us stories, if we take the opportunity to stop and reflect on them. In this talk I examine one facet of my life – my reading habits – and put it under the microscope. I try to learn more about myself by examining seven years’ worth of raw data, collected across 200 books. Using the research findings I make recommendations to myself about my reading habits, addressing areas such as author diversity, genre variety, among others. In addition, I explore the power of books in evoking emotional memories. Books anchor us in place, in time, and in emotional contexts. I argue that...

Everybody’s a Winner: How Unidimensional Scaling up as an Entrepreneurial Rite of Passage is Beginning to Be Resisted in India’s Startup Capital

GITIKA SAKSENA LagomWorks Consulting & SOAS University of London ABHISHEK MOHANTY LagomWorks Consulting & SOAS University of London Taking India's startup capital Bangalore as its field, the paper researches the absence of conventional scale as a potentially positive emic experience for the entrepreneur. The study leverages a mixed methods approach, employing semi-structured interviews with select entrepreneurs, employees, investors, advisors, and staff from startup-incubators, participant observation at both startups and startup-incubators, textual analyses of business literature, semiotics of popular culture as well as auto-ethnographic reflection by the authors themselves on account of having co-founded a company in Bangalore in 2018, therefore establishing their positionality as ‘an-other’ (Sarukkai 1997, 1408), by ‘thick participation’ (Samudra 2008, 667). The authors examine the current assemblages within the startup ecosystem, to demonstrate that even the dominant and conventional notions of scale have...

Data Walks into a Bar: A Love Story

TABITHA STEAGER Workday PechaKucha Presentation As a qualitative researcher, I was always a bit afraid – if not disdainful – of quantitative data. This pecha kucha tells the uneasy love story of how and why I fell in love with quantitative data. Transitioning from life as an ethnographer who avoided quantitative work at any cost, I found myself working as an applied researcher using a method that relied heavily on large amounts of quantitative data. I had to learn how to tell a story using a data format with which I was relatively unfamiliar. I was also doubtful about quantitative data and that it was often privileged over qualitative work and angry at the power it sometimes held over people's lives. However, as I began to get closer to it, I realized that I was ascribing quantitative data an agency of its own, an agency it definitely doesn't have. I moved through my doubt and ultimately came to fall deeply in love with the sweet spot that exists when we can marry qualitative and quantitative data to give voice to those...

Self-Ethnography: Or, How I Earned my Berkeley Citizenship in an Ethnographic Journey through the Crunchy Granola and the Scientific

BETH SCHWINDT Autodesk PechaKucha Presentation A researcher who used to combine “thinking + feeling” lines on a journey map found herself on the feelings frontier by widely exploring new innovations in neuroscience, psychology, and mind-body connection, alongside the resurgence in popularity of “old” ways of healing – chinese medicine, crystals, tarot cards. Through her self-ethnographic journey, she found that by stripping back ethnography from the measurable, the scientific, the business cases she rediscovered its foundational backbone to carefully tune into and interpret feelings. She redefines ethnography as about finding truth and not judging it – even the parts that don't make sense right away and asserts that believing the tiny fragments of feelings and glimmers of intuition is the future of our practice. The new science and the old wisdom revealed that feelings are the root of agency, or “the feelings we have a say in the world we live in and experience, and it is our new frontier to help people articulate...

Center Frame: Agency in the Lives of Researchers

BRANDY PARKER IA Collaborative PechaKucha Presentation We try to avoid being on camera, but as researchers, are we ever really out of frame? Centered around a life-changing project that had lackluster results, this piece is a meditation on our agency, or lack of agency, as researchers. Our work gives us unique glimpses into worlds no one else is privy to, and what we experience changes us. At times, the most powerful advancement of our work is in our own lives. Brandy Parker is a Senior Research & Design Strategist at IA Collaborative. With a background in ethnography, psychology, and nutrition, she brings a unique whole-person perspective to both medicine and the design world. She works at the intersection of her passions for human-centered design, research, and health care. Citation: 2019 EPIC Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic...

Remembering the Blister: How What Didn’t Kill Me Made Me Stronger

MARISE PHILLIPS Wells Fargo I’m an ethnographer at a major financial institution. My work became a lot more meaningful after my family and I lost our home in a devastating arson attack. In this PechaKucha, I tell the story of how this catastrophic fire loss forced me to reclaim my agency. Today, I channel memories of bereavement and recovery into my quest to improve experiences for customers and in my community. “Knowledge is awareness that fire can burn; wisdom is remembering the blister.” —Leo Tolstoy Marise Phillips has lent insights and ideation to projects at all stages of the software development lifecycle in her 25-year career. Her specialties are design research, service design, content strategy, and facilitation of participatory design decision-making. In 2011, Marise managed a partnership with Forrester Research to bring service design practitioner training to Wells Fargo—an opportunity which has resulted in hundreds of team members across the enterprise practicing human-centered, collaborative approaches...

Ethnographic Agency in a Data Driven World

NADINE LEVIN Facebook This paper argues that ethnographers can gain increased agency in data-driven corporate environments by increasing their quantitative literacy: their ability to create, understand, and strategically use quantitative data to shape organizations. Drawing on the author's experience conducting strategic user research at a technology company, the paper explores how the ability to engage with quantitative data can increase ethnographers’ independence and autonomy within organizations, and can also up-level the role and value of qualitative research. The paper also explores how a deep familiarity with quantitative data can enable ethnographers to imbue quantitative data itself with new forms of agency, and can ultimately give ethnographers the tools to change institutions from within. With a greater understanding of how quantitative data is made and used, ethnographers can ensure that data is collected in representative ways, point out the limitations of existing metrics, and argue for new ways of measuring and...

How Autoethnography Enables Sensemaking across Organizations

FREDERIK GOTTLIEB SDU Design, University of Southern Denmark WAFA SAID MOSLEH SDU Design, University of Southern Denmark Building on participatory innovation, and taking a personal and analytical autoethnographic approach we set out to investigate how innovative initiatives emerge in the interaction of multiple stakeholders across different organizations. As researchers, we are interested in understanding the lived experience of the lead author, as an inquiry into how new initiatives across organizations are shaped in the interaction between different stakeholders across field sites and organizational levels. The project evolved as a cross-institutional initiative; bridging health-care and engineering education, and while the lead author was initially involved as design consultant, his engagement later resulted in the initiation of cross-disciplinary collaboration between two different local institutions. This paper is thus an attempt to investigate how emerging organizational initiatives and multi-stakeholder innovation become...

Becoming the Subject: A Comparison of Ethnographic and Autoethnographic Data for New Product Development

KEREN SOLOMON As companies become more interested in innovation, design, and the creation of experiences, they are increasingly utilizing ethnography as a way to understand their customers and potential customers. However, for most companies ethnography is still conducted in the classical sense, with researchers observing and talking to participants in order to draw out insights about the “other.” Few consider the use of autoethnography, that is, having people deeply and rigorously study themselves in order to produce a richer description of the problem space and of how new products might potentially solve those problems. This paper draws on two research projects conducted by the author, compares the data collection methods and research results obtained with both approaches, and suggests some ways in which using an autoethnographic approach could lead to more insightful research results. It also raises questions about how we as researchers can increase our understanding of and respect for what it really means to be a research subject....