Ethnography for Investigating the Internet
Keywords:virtual ethnography, communities online, online communities, Internet research
Several concepts are used to describe ethnographic approaches for investigating the Internet; competing concepts include virtual ethnography, netnography, digital ethnography, web-ethnography, online ethnography, and e-ethnography. However, as the field matures, several writers simply call their approach "ethnography" and specify new fields of practice. In this paper, we will explore the content of ethnographic approach for investigating the Internet and the direction in which this new field of ethnography is moving, that is, whether it is the study of blended worlds or online worlds. We start by introducing the emerging field sites or fields of practice. Then, we describe how participant observation and other data collection techniques are carried out. Next, we describe how ethnographic practice is understood within the emerging field. Finally, we discuss some possible changes in the ethnographic landscape: unobtrusive methods, the communal-commercial relationship, and team-ethnography.
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Copyright (c) 2017 Per Hetland, Anders I. Mørch
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