Difference between revisions of "Ethnography in the Digital Age"

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Ethnographic Approaches to the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication
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Angela Cora Garcia
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Bentley College
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Alecea I. Standlee
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Syracuse University
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Jennifer Bechkoff
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San Jose State University
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Yan Cui
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University of Cincinnati
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In this article we review ethnographic research on the Internet and computer-mediated communication. The technologically mediated environment prevents researchers from directly observing research participants and often makes the interaction anonymous. In addition, in the online environment direct interaction with participants is replaced by computer-screen data that are largely textual, but may include combinations of textual, visual, aural, and kinetic components. We show how the online environment requires adjustments in how ethnographers define the setting of their research, conduct participant observation and interviews, obtain access to settings and research subjects, and deal with the ethical dilemmas posed by the medium.
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Key Words: ethnography • computer-mediated communication • Internet • participant observation • interviewing
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Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 38, No. 1, 52-84 (2009)
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DOI: 10.1177/0891241607310839

Revision as of 15:30, 9 May 2010

Journal of Contemporary Ethnography

A. C. Garcia, A. I. Standlee, J. Bechkoff, and Yan Cui Ethnographic Approaches to the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, February 1, 2009; 38(1): 52 - 84. [Abstract] [PDF]

Source: <a href="http://jce.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/38/1/52" rel="nofollow">jce.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/38/1/52</a>

http://www.flickr.com/photos/caseorganic/4593056980/

Ethnographic Approaches to the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication

Angela Cora Garcia Bentley College

Alecea I. Standlee

Syracuse University

Jennifer Bechkoff

San Jose State University

Yan Cui

University of Cincinnati

In this article we review ethnographic research on the Internet and computer-mediated communication. The technologically mediated environment prevents researchers from directly observing research participants and often makes the interaction anonymous. In addition, in the online environment direct interaction with participants is replaced by computer-screen data that are largely textual, but may include combinations of textual, visual, aural, and kinetic components. We show how the online environment requires adjustments in how ethnographers define the setting of their research, conduct participant observation and interviews, obtain access to settings and research subjects, and deal with the ethical dilemmas posed by the medium.

Key Words: ethnography • computer-mediated communication • Internet • participant observation • interviewing


Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 38, No. 1, 52-84 (2009) DOI: 10.1177/0891241607310839