Before this week I had no idea what the word ‘ethnography’ meant, and when someone mentioned anthropology, I still was completely clueless. However after some thorough research and many coffees I have come to the understanding that ‘ethnography’ ‘ is the recording and analysis of a culture or society, usually based on participant-observation and resulting in a written account of a people, place or institution‘. Or in other words it’s the study of cultures.
Last week I wrote about my dads childhood television memories, and he emphasised that he and his brother watched it on a daily basis, which in this case classifies as a tradition, my brother and I do the same. It made me wonder of the social uses of television, and to describe and explain how families interpersonally construct their time with television through collaborative ethnography.
After some observation and research I found that, television is used mostly within the home, and that relationships between audience members and television are embedded in household relations. Luke Eric Lassiter introduces collaborative ethnography as simply, it says what it is; “collaborate means, literally, to work together, especially in an intellectual effort“. So in majority of household’s initially people are doing collaborative ethnography without even realising it, the people in a household are collaboratively watching television together, observing each other and basically copying. Like my brother and I, we watch television together just the same as my dad did with his brother. I asked some of my friends how they learnt to watch television and they answered with “I watched someone else watching it”.
Collaborative ethnology research can be used to analyse contemporary media use in the home through research that is undertaken subconsciously by everyone in the home or researches could investigate with different house hold families in order to collate realistic statistics, perhaps their own household, like I have. With this information researches can collect information obtaining how media is viewed, used, on how many devices, what the media is used for and why and so on.