The Association for Qualitative Research
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Originating in anthropology, this term traditionally refers to a practice in which researchers spend long periods living within a culture in order to study it. The term has been adopted within qualitative market research to describe occasions where researchers spend time - hours, days or weeks - observing and/or interacting with participants in areas of their everyday lives. This contrasts with interview-based research in which interaction with respondents is limited to a conventional interview or group discussion format, is more limited in time, and often takes place outside the participant's own environment.

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