Last week we have all been treated to a trip down memory lane. Reminiscing the fond memories of our childhoods when television was an occasional activity, saved for before school and Saturday mornings. Now television shapes our lives and consumes use wholely even when we are unaware of it. We are fortunate enough to often have more than one screen in our households so it has been interesting to delve further into the world of parents and grandparents and understand the complete change television had on their lives.
Reoccurring through many blog posts was the anxieties and change that came about with the introduction of television. Many people, like Sasha’s dad, reminisced their mothers often warning them TV would hurt their brains if they watched too much. Another change many blog posts encountered and shared was the time at which television was watched. For most families, like Jack’s grandparents, television was reserved for after dinner activities and was not on a 24 hour schedule.
It was interesting to see even though television was so limited our family members had great memories of many different TV shows they enjoyed. Even as I continued to scroll through blog posts on the couch my Dad would join in recalling his own memories from his childhood. Another interesting thing I have noticed amongst blog posts from last week is the recollection of family events and lifestyle was recalled more than any other major events experienced. A lot has happened during the evolution of television, the moon landing, 9/11, countless olympics ect. But many blog posts like Isabelle’s described memories of fighting overt TV channels and the rules of the living room.
Maybe the way our subjects remembered there memories was due to the questions we were asking. This shows some weakness to approaching research about the media audience. You need to have knowledge of exactly what information you are after and ensure your questions are correct.
Luke Lassiter (2005) labeled collaborative ethnography “rich but marginal”. I interpret this as qualitative research can give you excellent information full of wisdom and knowledge, however it can often not actually be of importance to your study. These interviews from others has changed my view as a researcher. I understand we can’t ask each individual the same questions as every person has different experiences, cultures and beliefs.
When I first interviewed my Nana I thought I would get answers matching my peers and our blog posts would all be similar. Instead I gained insist on her thoughts, feelings and experiences from her life I hadn’t thought of.
For ethnography to be beneficial participation is most important.It is more important to receive thoughts and feelings then to get half-assed statistical ratings sure to deliver us the things we already know.
If we are to learn more about the way things have impacted on our culture then qualitative ethnographic research seems to be the best way to go.
– Eliza x
Cover Image Source: (‘Bangkok Street Portraits’: https://www.flickr.com/photos/collin_key/6080864794/)