BBC Radio show on ethnography in business

Shop Talk is a BBC radio show featuring a discussion of ethnographic research in business. Thanks to Michael Andrews and Louise Ferguson for this.

It was a bit challenging for me to listen to; Genevieve Bell was the only person who (in a very radio-unfriendly fashion) tried to move the sound-bites into a discussion, usually to be squelched by the host. There was just too much to cover in 28 minutes – too many people giving their spiel about what this is, why it’s necessary, who is qualified (or not) to engage in it, and in a couple of cases some examples of what was learned and what the implications were. Definitions of terms such as “ethnography” and “anthropology” were not common amongst the panelists and created what I would imagine was some confusion among non-industry (ie, the user research industry) listeners. Me, I was just annoyed by that discussion.

Anyway, there are some nice bits in there, and it’s pretty good to hear some different voices on the topic, and for me, to hear my profession discussed from a UK business perspective, that was quite refreshing.


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