Ethnographic studies

Schlesinger Associates and its companies recruit for and support ethnographic studies. Through immersion methodologies you can get up-close and personal to listen, observe and probe research participants as they go about their daily routines or hold special events. The investment in immersion can be higher than other methods but the outcomes can provide insights of greater worth. When you undertake an immersion study, you need to be sure that participants are on spec, cooperative and comfortable with the method to ensure the value.

We support  in-home, in office or on-site immersions. As a stand-alone solution or as a mixed method. And we offer the following recruitment, management and technology support:

Recruitment & management

  • Recruitment of individual participants or as many householders, friends or colleagues as are pertinent to the study.
  • Car service to your immersion locations
  • Map packets
  • Packed-lunch/supper
  • Management of homework assignments
  • Product testing shipping and instructions

Technology support

  • Supply and shipping of handycams for video diaries
  • Professional videographer
  • Highlight reel
  • Mobile streaming of filming

Examples of consumer & B2B ethnographic/immersion studies we have undertaken
Patients in-home: Medication dosage/tracking/instruction compliance
Patients in-home: Interaction between patient and caregiver
B2B: Office printer set-up and work-flow
B2B: Office layout and co-worker interaction
Consumer retail:  Shop-alongs (intercept and pre-recruit)
Consumer drive-along: Car purchase decision making criteria
Childrens' house party: Child and pre-teen interaction around TV & Internet
Consumer cocktail party: Cocktail preparations,  in-home with friends
Consumer game party: Games in-home with family and invited friends
Consumer in-home: Family meal preparation
Consumer 'girls' night out': In home and on-site drinks behavior. (At home preparation and in bars and nightclub)

In certain situations, we have been able to conduct medical provisional immersion studies. The opportunity for an immersion study is always subject to multiple factors, including physician agreement, hospital restrictions, location, privacy restrictions, legal restrictions, timing, therapeutic area and budget.

Examples of healthcare professional ethnographic/immersion studies we have undertaken
Lead physician on-site:  At at major children's medical center including interaction with specific support staff
Lead physician in-office : Shadowing with additional physician, nurse and staff member. Still photos and video with patient faces blurred.
Physician in-office & patient in-home : Plus nurse, patient and caregiver. Follow-up with patient and caregiver at home.
Physician in-office with patient: Video ethnography with physician recording patient.  Follow-up interviews with physician and staff member

Our Global Management Solutions team manages international ethnographic studies and also thrives on meeting the challenges of tough recruits nationally. Our pragmatic and committed approach will help you meet your research goals for single or multi-market studies.


US: Debby Schlesinger-Hellman

US International Field Office
Nadine Casaletto, Director Global Qualitative

European International Field Office
Stephan Schmid, Managing Director


Related pages


  • BDI Acquisition

    June 22, 2017 - Schlesinger is excited to announce the acquisition of BDI Research, a research services company with facilities in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain.

  • 360 immersive video

    October 14, 2016 - Introducing 360° immersive video for focus groups. The system features 360° cameras that put observers at the center of the conversation, creating a whole new experience for observers and compelling video for researchers.

  • Young Professionals Grant

    September 5, 2016 - Schlesinger has once again collaborated with the QRCA to fund the Young Professionals Grant to give young qualitative research professionals the opportunity to attend the QRCA annual conference.

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