Ethnography at Ida: Gaining insights on the culture of hearing care
There is a good chance that if you have visited the Ida Institute’s website before, you have seen one of our ethnographic videos. Since 2008, Ida has used these compelling windows into the world of clinicians and their clients to inspire reflection on living and working with hearing loss.
The Ida Institute's ethnographic videos are a unique and vital teaching tool. When Ida records and shares ethnographic videos, we are examining the culture that hearing care professionals and people with hearing loss live and work in. Because we see people at home, at work, at school, and among family and friends, we see what challenges they come up against, how they adapt, and how they thrive. These videos show more than interviews alone can.
Seeing ourselves through an ethnographer's eyes
Ethnographic videos are not meant to draw scientific conclusions or define hearing care professionals' behaviors. Rather, the videos provide a glimpse of everyday practices in a clinic. By watching films of their colleagues, clinicians can recognize elements of their own practices and take inspiration on how to breakdown professional and personal barriers to providing a more person-centered approach. By observing the field of hearing care as outsiders, they are able to gain insight they otherwise could not find from within.
Hans Henrik Philipsen, PhD, chief consultant on innovation and development for the Ida Institute, has produced more than 70 ethnographic videos in the UK, Denmark, the United States, and South Africa. He has recorded sessions in clinics, visited patients in their homes, and talked to audiologists, clinic managers, and teachers of the Deaf.
What are the key elements of a good ethnographic video?
"A Sense of Irritation" tells the story of Gill and her husband John, and how he helps her cope with her hearing loss. It offers valuable insight into the importance of communication partners in relationships and social situations. This video also illustrates how communication partners provide clinicians with information that a person with hearing loss might not think of themselves.
Clearer insights, better understanding
Ida’s ethnographic videos give us insight into what happens in the clinic: How do hearing care professionals work, how do people with hearing loss behave in an appointment, and what can the professional in the room learn from the encounter? Ida's ethnographic videos help to bring hearing healthcare practitioners closer to their clients. Through interviews and observations, we discover aspects of people’s hearing journeys, their personal experiences, and coping mechanisms that might not be covered in appointment.
“We knew from the beginning that the Ida Institute would have to take a unique approach to looking into how people live well with their hearing loss,” says Ida Managing Director Lise Lotte Bundesen. “Our ethnographic videos powerfully convey the emotions triggered by hearing loss and help fight the “lab coat syndrome” that detaches healthcare professionals from the people they treat by bringing the human dynamics back into the field.”