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Great books for people who study people

11 December

American Families — a deep dive A central theme in this book is “the economy of dignity” whereby people earn peer respect by showing they know about things that matter within a subculture. This is especially true for younger people who are in the process of defining their identity. For example, school aged kids earn […]


Ethnography is Up!

28 December

This movie, “Kitchen Stories” is based on a true story about a large-scale ethnography conducted in the 1940’s in Sweden. It illustrates with adorable humor what happens when ethnography is used in the wrong way, even if for the right reason. And it’s about humans. You can rent it on Amazon for less than the […]


Kiss the Messenger

23 October

An occupational hazard for a researcher is exposing negative feedback about a client’s brand or a product. This can be especially dicey when talking with people in real time when clients are present. Tech-centric companies have a bad rep for blaming users and/or researchers when the developers watch people struggle to figure out how to […]


The Curated Self: Part II

05 June

Part I of this series “Fact, Fiction and the Curated Self” explains how qualitative researchers explore the story people tell about themselves: their motivations, perceptions, desires, needs and beliefs. These stories are not about facts or behaviors. Behavioral data are observable in our digital footprints. On the other hand, the story people tell about themselves […]


Fact, Fiction and the Curated Self

10 May

That idea that people distort the “truth” when telling you about themselves is nothing new to seasoned qualitative researchers. My first research job out of grad school involved interviewing jail detainees about their drug and unsafe sex behaviors. Being let out of their cell to talk to the lady with the clipboard and drink the […]


Top 5 NEW Predictions for Market Research in 2017

30 January

It’s crystal ball time again. What will 2017 mean for market research? Some predictions seem to get trotted out year after year, like “Expect greater demand for actionable insights” or “Increased automation and more technology-based solutions will become the norm”. These are important deliverables and solutions, but demand for them isn’t cyclical, and never really […]


Amazon Go and Uber: Where To Next?

14 December

  Earlier this month, news outlets were buzzing about Amazon Go, Amazon’s latest foray into brick and mortar shopping. Using the Amazon Go app, shoppers log in, pull goods from the shelves, and using a combination of “computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning,” the shopper’s account is charged for the items they select. The […]


If the Suit Fits…

21 September

Nonbinary and Gender Non-conforming Fashion In my work in qualitative research, gender identity and labels come up regularly, and their intersection with the fashion world has taken a fascinating turn of late., a wiki for nonbinary gender education and advocacy explains that “some nonbinary people like clothes that don’t give any female or male […]