Ethnographic Research at the Odeon

There are many methods to research e.g. surveys, interviews, case study and observation. Another method of research is the ethnography: ‘The term ethnography has come to be equated with virtually any qualitative research project where the intent is to provide a detailed, in-depth description of everyday life and practice’. A researcher observes from the point of view of a subject.

We were asked to experience one of a number of activities such as watch a sport match live or in a pub, go to a nightclub, watch a live band, a play at the theatre, or even play games in an arcade. We were then asked to blog about our experiences and answer the following questions:

What did you do?

I watched the film Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Where did you go?

I went to Lincoln Odeon (cinema).

Is this something you would normally do? Why/ why not?

I regularly visit the cinema so yes. I usually see films there because I enjoy the experience and it is often something to do to spend time with friends and family.

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What did you see/hear/experience?

The music and sound effects in the film were so much more immense than they would have have been if the film was viewed at home on a regular TV. Everything seemed a lot more dramatic than I expect it would be if viewed at home.

What do you think the appeal is?

For one, people get to see films as they have just been released. They do not have to wait for the DVD to come out or to download it. Secondly, people get to enjoy the film as part of a whole experience, especially when it comes to 3D or 4D experiences. People can enjoy the film with other people rather than alone in their home. People usually get to see a brand new film which none of the people they arere with have seen before and therefore, everyone is getting a similar experience, hopefully an enjoyable one. This stimulates socialisation through the act of attending the film together but also in conversation, as people can discuss the film afterwards.

In what ways did this experience differ from using media at home?

It seemed more worthwhile, as though you were actively doing something, by travelling to the cinema, buying tickets and waiting for the adverts, then the trailers and then the film before it started. It seemed more social in interaction with people as they entered the theatre and sat around me. It seemed, as I have mentioned already, like more of an experience in seeing the film on a large screen with surround sound stereo, since very few people have similar set ups in their homes.

Can you think of other ways we engage with media outside of the home?

Media is everywhere so it is hard to pinpoint all the ways we engage with media outside of the home. However, advertising is a huge aspect here as it is everywhere persuading us to use and buy certain products over other products. Music is another common media aspect that is overlooked. We all hear music in shops, perhaps it is in the background, perhaps we interact with it and sing along. But, with both of these mediums, it does not seem that different to how I would normally interact with media in the comfort of my own home. Whereas media involved in events is very different and is much more inclusive, dramatic and an experience.

Rachel Measures

I do not own the above image, it is from: http://www.slideshare.net/AndyPriestner1/ethnography-for-impact-a-new-way-of-exploring-user-experience-in-libraries
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