The ethnographic tradition in which this research was conducted requires the nurturing of close and trusting relations between researchers and respondents. Building and maintaining this level of closeness, it transpired, also demanded significant emotional labour from all those involved since it meant overcoming the mistrust and inequality that haunt the research process. We addressed this by modelling our relations with respondents on the everyday practices of the group itself. We also tried to move beyond a purely formal commitment to ‘equality’ in our relations by recognising the equal right of the respondents to question and ‘research’ us. Adopting such an approach, however, had an unanticipated consequence; our interlocutors persistently expected ‘something extra’ from us and, through tests and provocations but also demonstrations of affection, turned the research process on its head, making themselves the agents and us the dependents in the research relationship
The article suggests to adopt a pluralism methodological approach in marketing science. Using controversy over marketing to nonmarketers problem paper traces evolution of the issue in context of research methodology and discusses alternative methodological approaches and research paradigms.