Transitions/Translations/Gaps: Ethnographic Representations in the Pharmaceutical Industry

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Abstract

Like all research in the corporate world, ethnographic research must move between different domains, translate between differently situated social actors and risk misinterpretation. In product development, this misinterpretation can result in gaps in the complex chain of information that comprises a product pipeline. This work shows how anthropologists' use of the concept of personhood to analyze and understand corporate clients and people that use pharmaceutical products, can minimize the risk of misinterpretation, allow ethnographic data to move more smoothly throughout the product development process and enhance possibilities for successful product use in the lives of those who use pharmaceutical products.

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