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OxDeg: Ethnography of and in the state: perspectives on qualitative research in government service design

Date & Time:
16:30 - 18:00,
Wednesday 21 February, 2018


This seminar is about the patchworks of short intervention ethnography taking place across the UK. For the past few years, all new government services are required to have conducted research into the service users before, during and after their design. There are a huge number of tensions about the use social research in the design and re-iteration of government. This talk will look at the experience of user researchers in government, both in terms of the relationship between academic ethnography and design ethnography and the tension of qualitative research being a mandated part of the process of designing and implementing policy.

The hashtag to use for tweeting about this event is #OxDeg

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  • Name: Alex Blandford
  • Affiliation: Democracy Club
  • Role:
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  • Bio: Alex Blandford is a product manager and user researcher working in government and the broader civic technology sector. He completed an undergraduate degree in anthropology at Goldsmiths in 2008 and a masters in psychosocial studies at Birkbeck in 2011. His academic interests have centred around archives, museums and the internet. He has worked in on projects in parliament, government departments, the NHS and arms length bodies. He has been an organiser of UKGovCamp, one of the largest gatherings of public sector technologists and is currently head of research at Democracy Club.