Ethnographic Interviews: Consumer Negotiations
The Urban Indian middle class in India has undergone tremendous changes in their lives due to the simple fact of increased income levels and thereby increases in disposable incomes. One way to look at this change would be to look at economic data and another one is to look at it from a qualitative standpoint and see what is happening in people’s lives.
People make negotiations on an everyday basis with this new disposable income as they utilize it in a market place. I looked at how a citizen focused middle class slowly took on the shape of a consumer focused middle class. Ethnographic interviews utilized for this purpose brought in interesting concepts that weave through the process of negotiations and bring in some interesting insights using consumption theory.
The core skills employed were interviewing based on a uniform question bank that was utilized throughout the research process. The research was conducted as part of the doctoral thesis with 150+ interviews audio recorded, transcribed and coded for analysis based on grounded theory for method and sociological analysis driven by consumption theory.