Forget online surveys and dinnertime robo-calls. A consulting firm called ReD is at the forefront of a new trend in market research, treating the everyday lives of consumers as a subject worthy of social-science scrutiny. On behalf of its corporate clients, ReD will uncover your deepest needs, fears, and desires.

The Atlantic Monthly on the latest in an old and continuing story. 

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Comment by John McCreery on March 25, 2013 at 4:13pm
Thanks, Boris. Just bought the Applbaum and have it in my iPad.
Comment by Boris Popovic on March 22, 2013 at 5:59pm

I would also point to fellow OAC member Kalman Applbaum's masterpiece The Marketing Era

Comment by John McCreery on March 22, 2013 at 9:38am

P.S. For those interested, either pro or con, in business anthropology, you should have a look at the recently launched Journal of Business Anthropology. It is open access and the essays in volume 1, in particular, will bring you up to speed on what people who self-identify as business anthropologists are thinking about these days.

Comment by John McCreery on March 22, 2013 at 9:25am

Boris, thank you, thank you, thank you. A brilliant piece of film that I have just watched from beginning to end. You might have noticed the repeated appearance in the film of the historian of public relations Stewart Ewen. His PR! A Social History of Spin is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the twentieth century world and the world we inhabit today.

Comment by Boris Popovic on March 22, 2013 at 8:19am

Your work/interest in advertising is what made me make the connection. 

Every couple of cycles there appears an article of this sort. It always leads me to re-watching a few minutes here and there of Adam Curtis. 

Comment by John McCreery on March 22, 2013 at 3:58am

Not really. I know a few people in that business, some I admire a great deal (see, for example, Rita Denny and Patricia Sunderland, Doing Anthropology in Consumer Research and Melissa Cefkin, Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter). I have not, however, ever been in that business. People seem to think that because I am an anthropologist and have worked in business that I must be a business anthropologist. But like the members of the Keieijinruigaku (Anthropology of Administration) group in Japan, I am an anthropologist of business, not an anthropologist in business. I don't make my living selling ethnographic or any other kind of research. 

But enough of that. What did you find interesting about the article in The Atlantic? Were you intrigued, appalled, both, why?

Comment by Boris Popovic on March 22, 2013 at 3:33am

Just something to read. Mainstream media and anthropology. The piece could have benefited from an interview with you, John. 

Comment by John McCreery on March 22, 2013 at 2:35am


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