Autodriving to Reveal Insights About Television Consumption
Rasolofoarison, Dina; Feiereisen, Stephanie; Russell, Cristel; Schau, Hope (2022), Autodriving to Reveal Insights About Television Consumption, Consumer Culture Theory conference, 2022-07, Corvallis, Etats-Unis d'Amérique
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference titleConsumer Culture Theory conference
Conference countryEtats-Unis d'Amérique
MetadataShow full item record
Dauphine Recherches en Management [DRM]
Montpellier Business School
University of Arizona [UoA]
Abstract (EN)In this research project, autodriving was used as one of several data collection methods to understand how consumers watch TV. Recognizing that consumers increasingly have the ability to control the pace and content of their entertainment consumption, we were interested in navigation strategies used when watching series in a transmedia environment. The autodriving element followed a first set of interviews with TV series watchers using a mix of grand tour questions and floating prompts (McCracken 1988). While those interviews yielded excellent first-person accounts of participants’ viewing practices and experiences of serial narratives, we (and yes, the review team!) recognized that these retrospective interviews could not capture all the insights into TV viewing practices nor their surrounding sociocultural context.In this session, we discuss how we used the visual research technique to supplement our other methods (interviews, diaries) and capture our respondents first person perspective on their viewing practices. We document the value of adopting video recordings as material for video-elicitation interviews, and discuss its challenges as well. We followed the steps outlined in Lahlou (2011) and Lahlou et al. (2015)’s Subjective Evidence-Based Ethnography (SEBE). This method compares and contrasts researchers’ interpretations of the video recordings (third person perspective) with the subjective experience of the participants (first person perspective). It involves first using a small camera to video record the activity of the participant. Then, researchers confront participants during follow-up interviews with these recordings to collect their subjective experience. This procedure enables participants to reconstruct and describe their psychological state at the moment of action, especially their goals, by reviewing visuals of their activity recorded from their own perspective. The major benefit of this method is to provide both detailed records of the participants’ overt behaviors (i.e. their actual practices) through the video recordings and their covert behaviors (i.e. the evidence-based accounts of the participants’ own mental processes) through the follow up interviews. The autodriving element of the research program allowed us to strategically move beyond our participants’ retrospective accounts of their navigational patterns and not solely rely on declarative data. We sought to capture material traces of those patterns. Building on prior ethnographic consumption studies (Belk 1991; Jayasinghe and Ritson 2013; Jones, Cronin, and Piacentini 2018), we conducted video recordings with 11 informants (five couples and one single informant) who reported watching TV series at least six hours per week.The researchers provided each couple or individual participant a video camera with integrated microphone. The participants installed the camera in the room where they usually watch their TV series. This enabled us to observe participants in the natural environment where the narrative navigation occurred and to explore adequately the everyday ‘microprocesses’ of audience activity (Lull 1990). This is a major difference from SEBE procedure (Lahlou 1999) and its subjective cameras worn at eye-level by the participants. Our set-up resembles more a CCTV image, which allows to capture a broad overview with several essential elements (i.e., the TV set and all the participants present in the room). Hence, cameras were not placed on the participants themselves, which means that informants did not re-watch their own behaviors in a subjective first-person view. Moreover, researchers did not have the opportunity to observe the lived situation from the participants perspective. However, this set-up allowed participants to get a broader view of the scenes during the follow-up interviews, and to comment not only on their own actions but also on their co-viewer’s actions. This made it possible for participants to not only reconstruct their mental processes, but also to discover new insights about behaviors they might not have been aware of at the time. For example, in a Game of Thrones viewing session in Claire and Fred’s home, we observed that Fred left the room to go in the kitchen and brought back some snacks. Claire was so immersed in the story that she didn’t even notice Fred’s absence. Watching the recorded scene of this specific moment for the autodriving interview allowed Claire to become aware of what was going on in the room while she was narratively transported by the episode. The in-situ recording provided valuable insights into behaviors so mundane, usual and/or trivial to the participants that they were often not aware of them. Free from the biases of retrospective accounts, auto-driving through video elicitation allowed the participants, and thus us as researchers, to unpack actually observed practices.This project provides evidence of the value of video-based elicited interviews to substantiate phenomenological interviews, the lived experience from the perspective of the subject. It also allows sharing access to the raw materials across the research team and the participants to make meaning of this experience while avoiding as much as possible projecting any inadequate preconceptions of the researchers onto the phenomenon (Lahlou 2011). As such, and in line with Pink’s (2015) recommendations, autodriving allowed us to engage reflexively with the outcomes of the visual ethnographic process. For example, we noticed during the initial interviews that participants used an abundance of food analogies and metaphors while describing their TV consumption habits. Thanks to the video recordings, we actually observed that food and drink were materially very present in the setting of the various TV viewing sessions. It inspired us to frame our narrative navigation map with its food theme. We find insightful that our methodological choices rose questions about the relationships between participants and researchers, and the nature of the findings that these social and material relationships produce. Video recordings and autodriving technique provided us with an empirical experience of co-constructed findings. We learnt not to take our own interpretations (from a researcher perspective) for granted.
Subjects / KeywordsEtudes du consommateur
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Feiereisen, Stéphanie; Russell, Cristel Antonia; Rasolofoarison, Dina; Schau, Hope (2022) Article accepté pour publication ou publié
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