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Subjective Evidence Based Ethnography: Method and Applications


Saadi Lahlou, Sophie Le Bellu et Sabine Boesen-Mariani, "Subjective Evidence Based Ethnography: Method and Applications", dans Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, vol. 49, n° 2, Juin 2015.


Subjective Evidence Based Ethnography (SEBE) is a method designed to access subjective experience. It uses First Person Perspective (FPP) digital recordings as a basis for analytic Replay Interviews (RIW) with the participants. This triggers their memory and enables a detailed step by step understanding of activity: goals, subgoals, determinants of actions, decision-making processes, etc. This paper describes the technique and two applications. First, the analysis of professional practices for know-how transferring purposes in industry is illustrated with the analysis of nuclear power-plant operators’ gestures. This shows how SEBE enables modelling activity, describing good and bad practices, risky situations, and expert tacit knowledge. Second, the analysis of full days lived by Polish mothers taking care of their children is described, with a specific focus on how they manage their eating and drinking. This research has been done on a sub-sample of a large scale intervention designed to increase plain water drinking vs sweet beverages. It illustrates the interest of SEBE as an exploratory technique in complement to other more classic approaches such as questionnaires and behavioural diaries. It provides the detailed “how” of the effects that are measured at aggregate level by other techniques.

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