Ethnographer Studies Top Dogs

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As a graduate student studying cultural research at Brunel University in London, Emma Gilding found post-Communist Poland one of her most fascinating case studies. The Poles, she found as she filmed them, were confounded by capitalism; many had been recently evicted and were stymied by their homelessness.

“I’d say, ‘Why don’t you pay the rent?’ and they’d say, ‘Doesn’t the government pay the rent?’ They wanted to be free, but they didn’t know how,” Gilding recalls.

Now, after more than 15 years as an ethnographer and marketing researcher, Gilding, 37, is working at Omnicom Group’s Doremus as executive director...

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