The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Getting closer to the action

This year I was lucky enough to receive a GoPro for Christmas! As an avid rambler, I've been wanting to get one of these cameras for years so that I could film some of my walks around the countryside and share the footage with family and friends.

For those of you who are less familiar with GoPros, they are essentially small, high-quality action cameras. One of their USPs is that they can be mounted to helmets or to different parts of your body and for this reason they are most commonly used for filming extreme sports. But it recently occurred to me that GoPro cameras could be an incredible tool for self-ethnography.

Granted, there are drawbacks to the technology — a mounted camera is not the most inconspicuous of devices — but they provide a means for respondents to share aspects of their lives in a way that directly reflects their experiences. What’s more, GoPros could provide a great way of conducting ethnography with children, removing any changes in their behaviour that may be caused by acting up in front of professional recordin equipment.

 

Anjul Sharma
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2016