Ethnographic research traditionally means spending time with people in their own surroundings, to observe, document and explain people’s lived experiences.

Below are some examples of different types of ethnographic video case studies, including:

a place-based study; a family study; an event study; a ‘journey’ study; an in-home consumer study; and a ‘community activity’ study.

Also, at the end, is an example of remote ethnography involving video diaries and Zoom calls, some traditional ‘vox pops’, and a regular event video.

Place-Based Study: What difference has the London Regeneration Fund made to local communities? / Greater London Authority

This is a Twitter-length edit of a longer film, exploring the local community impacts of the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund. We produced two video case studies, one for Poplar Work and the other for The Lakeside Centre, which fed into and complemented a written evaluation report by CAG Consulting.

Family Study: What were the results of a family innovation fund?Essex County Council

1-min snippet. ECC launched a ‘Family Innovation Fund’ programme to help families in volatile situations build resilience, and reduce their reliance on statutory support in the future. We visited families who were recipients of different forms of intervention, each with their own story to tell. We looked at the context leading up to referral, the experience of support, and the overall impact. 

The video above follows 12-year-old Lewis, who had been experiencing extreme behaviour at home. The full-length ethnographic case studies appeared in, and complemented, an interactive evaluation report, written by Traverse (formerly OPM), and designed by Close-Up. You can watch the full case studies here.

Event + Place-Based Study: How can citizens’ assemblies help residents tackle local issues? / DCMS & MHCLG

This is a Twitter-length edit of a longer film. In late 2019 / early 2020, we spent time with three citizens’ assembly participants, each from a different part of the country. Our aim was to understand their experiences, and provide a context to the issues being addressed in each assembly – in this case, the redevelopment of their respective town / city centres.

The resulting film appeared alongside the citizens’ assembly handbook on The RSA and Involve‘s websites, and with the evaluation report for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government (MHCLG).

You can watch the full-length film here.

‘Journey’ Study: What were the impacts of a Cultural Citizens Programme for young people?Arts Council England

1 min snippet. Arts Council England funded a ‘Cultural Citizens Programme’ to promote arts and culture to young people who would not normally have access or an interest.

For this ethnographic study, we followed a group of students from Liverpool, to find out: what was it like being on the programme, what were its impacts, and how could it be improved?

Our findings complimented a written report by research agency Renaisi, which was published by the Arts Council. You can watch the full film here.

In-home consumer study: How effective has the ‘WARM HOME DISCOUNT’ scheme been?

/ OFGEM

This is a one-minute excerpt from an ethno project, evaluating OFGEM’s ‘Warm Home Discount’ Scheme. The scheme offered a range of advice and initiatives to help people, particularly low-income or ‘vulnerable’ customers, better manage their gas and electricity usage.

As such, the client wanted to know: how effective has the scheme been, and what would help its effectiveness?

The clip above, featuring Barry, is from one of four individual ethnographic case studies. We focussed on understanding people’s: overall home and life styles, household energy use, financial management, and engagement with energy advice.

Our case studies and resulting behavioural insights contributed to and accompanied a written report by Traverse. You watch the full film here.

Community activity study: HOW DO OLDER PEOPLE HELP EACH OTHER OUT WITHIN THEIR COMMUNITIES? / Centre for Ageing Better

We visited people aged over 50 around the country, to map out ‘informal voluntary contributions in the community’ for the Centre for Ageing Better.
The above video is a 1-minute compilation snapshot, based on four separate ethnographic case studies. We explored the experiences and motivations of Gunwati in Leeds, Kathleen in Settle, Billy in Scarborough, and Tina in Bristol.
The overall aim of the research, for which Traverse published the written reports, was to recommend ways in which national/local government, the voluntary sector, and business, can help people in later life find meaningful ways to contribute to their communities.
You can see all four individual case studies here.

Remote Ethnography: What were the experiences of work during the pandemic, for older people with long-term health conditions? / CfAB + IES

This is a summary film, based on three separate themed videos. After the participants submitted initial video diaries, the final films were made entirely from Zoom interviews, and divided into: Different approaches to work; Continuing work whilst managing health; Having the right support to continue working. The films were produced as part of report by the Institute for Employment Studies, commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Better.

VOX POPS: WHAT ARE THE HEALTH PRIORITIES FOR PEOPLE IN LAMBETH & SOUTHWARK? / GUY’S & ST THOMAS’ CHARITY

This is a one-min snippet from a project exploring the health priorities for people living in Lambeth and Southwark. It involved visiting five locations across the boroughs, from a BMX club in Peckham, to a community garden in Streatham, to speak with as many different people as possible. The main questions were: what are the most pressing health issues in the area and why? And what could be done to help? You can see the full 4min film, which was published alongside a full report by research agency Renaisi, here.

EVENT VIDEO: WHAT WERE PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCES OF A CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY ON REDUCING HATE CRIME? / WALTHAM FOREST