Investigating the home
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As part of my Digital Anthropology MSc, I was required to conduct a research project based on ‘the home’. I decided to use multiple techniques of information presentation to inform a rounded multi-sensory ethnography. The following methods used, allowed for informative ethnographic material to be displayed, without analysis or discussion influencing a viewers understandings of the ethnographic data presented.
Having lived in London for most of my life, finding a site for my research project created a strange issue. It seemed appropriate to only visit a home that I was not familiar with. However, I had visited most of my friend’s houses many times before and so was already aware of most of their homely arrangements. As such, I made arrangements to visit friends who had just moved into a flat together having only recently graduated from University. The participants (knows as P and W from here-on) found the house after looking at several in the area. They wanted something between their two offices. They settled on the flat due to its location and cost and have been living there for 18 months. This felt like a sufficient solution for many reasons; (1) a small flat allows for more negotiable space, (2) they had only moved in recently and so were exploring their new space, (3) I was unfamiliar with the home. After a getting contact the participants agreed to the research and were more than happy to accommodate me for as long as was required.
Over the course of 5 months, I used multiple research techniques on multiple occasions to gain a better understanding of the house. The flat is located in London and houses two recent graduates who are now in full employment. Both participants are male, 22 years old and have been friends for a number of years. In order to achieve ethical guidelines, I will keep the names and precise locations of the study anonymous. However, this project aims to play with the boundaries of data, looking to show how data might be seen as an invasion of privacy despite its anonymity.