Frogs live in the thick of it all, and so do ethnographers, observing daily life and its practices and rituals in context. Quantitative research, by contrast, gets a bird’s eye view. It’s great at getting an over-arching picture of what’s going on, but a passing bird doesn’t get the nuanced understanding of life on the pond like the frog who calls that pond home. That’s where you can find us, wherever our research topic happens, with the people that make it happen, watching as the magic unfolds.
Like frogs, we take in everything around us, all 360 degrees. When so much of our research is about what drives us to do (and purchase) the things we do, this is vital in making sure our understanding is holistic and complete. We’ve learned never to underestimate the complexity of daily life and that compels us to leave no stone unturned, to look in every direction. We don’t miss anything that’s going on, but where frogs do it as a mechanism to survive, so they’re not eaten by birds or snakes, ethnographers do it for the sake of learning. There are no snakes in our pond, just insights.