Project 1: Exploring innovative potentials of ethnographic representations of users

The descriptive stance adopted in studies of (current) practices will form the basis for asking critical questions and reflection on alternative practices and excluded network relations (Blomberg et al 2003). Our studies can be conducted and collaboratively analyzed through reflective dialogue with the informants including participant observation, ethnographic interviews, group interviews, interaction analysis, diary methods, and document analysis. One of our goals will be to bring actors together in a critical dialogue on ethnographic descriptions of users and use practices, and the more common representations of users e.g. through quantitative measures.

In the project, the first step will be to conduct a thorough ethnographic study of a particular existing use practices. The aim of the initial study is to generate a conception of users and use practices in a mode, which is inspired by well-established ethnographic traditions. The next step is to relate these descriptions to existing ways of representing users and practices. The two bodies of information will be related by (a) a systematic exploration of differences between the sets of knowledge through a series of meetings, and (b) a sustained attempt to explore the possibilities of bridging the different forms of knowledge through the development of innovative concepts, procedures and products.

The empirical focus of the project will be a selected issue within grocery shopping. The issue will be chosen in cooperation with COOP, it will relate to an on-going debate on health in an ageing population and will be discussed with Centre for Healthy Ageing. The overall results of the project is on the one hand specific innovations related to grocery shopping, on the other hand a thorough empirically driven reflection on the possibilities of integrating significantly different (qualitative and quantitative) representations of users and use practices. The results will be communicated to and discussed with the other partners and furthermore used to broaden the scope of methods and forms of cooperation. The main faculty responsible for project 1 will be T Damsholt (Ethnology, CU).