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Market Research Panopticon

A full-page story in the Financial Times (March 1, page 9) waxed lyrical about 'reality tv for the boardroom' and went on to describe the use of video footage to 'reduce the growing distance between the corporate elite and consumers'. Executives in multinational companies, understated the FT, 'often find themselves doing business in places they know little about' (but) 'corporate reality tv enables highly paid executives to cross the class divide and get a glimpse into the lives of regular people that is, their consumers'. How fast is this practice spreading? Video ethnography is not a neutral activity, and it would be interesting to find out how much it is being used, for what purposes, and by whom. Feedback, please.

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