Seminar 2: Ethnographic and Positivist approaches to media analysis Reading: Seminar 2 - Positivism and ethnography as methods. Seminar Reading: Scannell, P. (2007) Media and Communication chapters 1, 3. Extract on NILE from Gunter, B. Media research methods Gunter, B. (1997) extract from Media Research Methods, Sage. Further Reading: Machin, D. (2002) Ethnographic Research for Media Studies. Arnold publ. Also excellent are Silverman's 2 volumes on doing qualitative research In this seminar we consider the following: Is it best to explain our media using habits in terms of a quantitative analysis of how many times we do this or that kind of thing, or is it best to take into account the wider cultural forces and constraints on what we do, i.e. more qualitative factors? This is roughly the methodological choice we make between empirical-positivist and ethnographic approaches. Equally is not ethnography USED ultimately in a positivistic way – drawing generalisations from observations? So is the conventionally asserted divide between positivism and ethnography a popular but misleading (and sometimes politico-moral i.e. ought we to simply treat people as numerically countable and as statistics?) view of the matter? Too often critics of quantitative positivistic approaches just seem to be unable to count and do basic maths! This kind of wingeing approach is not on...it is un-British, and intellectually feeble.