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Mediating Ethnography:

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Melodie Vandermeer

on 27 October 2014

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Transcript of Mediating Ethnography:


Dutch scholar
project manager of the University of Groningen Energy and Sustainability Programme
Has an interdisciplinary background which ranges from neuroscience to sociology
Her work is dominantly focused on the importance of interfaces for the creation and circulation of knowledge
Anne Beaulieu
Goals and Objectives
Beaulieu examines and studies many "monographs and methodological texts in which the internet, as both a new setting and a new technology for doing ethnography, is shown to raise
new issues for ethnographic work
and for
theorizing anthropological approaches
." (139)

These monographs bring up questions of
field relations
(including trust and confidentiality), and new possibilities for

p. 144, 145

Beaulieu examines these texts, and pulls out specific questions and points from them in sub-headings throughout her article
Mediating Ethnography:
Anne Beaulieu
The Article Itself
The internet has brought about huge potential for a new way of doing ethnographic research

Beaulieu's diverse background helps shape the way she sees the practical use of the internet in this field

By studying a variety of work already done on this topic, she pulls out key information and tips

As ethnographers, we must keep in mind the way the internet mediates our research

We must also remember to think about not only
we can learn from internet studies, but also
to best get this information
Objectivity and the Making of Ethnographies of the Internet
In the abstract of
Mediating Ethnography
, Beaulieu states:
"This paper aims to contribute to current discussions about methods in anthropological (especially ethnographic) research on the cultures of the internet."

Presented by Melodie Van Der Meer
Knowledge production- the goal of any research
what knowledge is made via the study of the internet?
how is it produced?
objectivity has a place in ethnographic research, particularly when it comes to knowledge production
must not be confused with objectification
objectivity: making of claims
objectification: the practices of science

Mediation in Ethnography
can we learn from Internet studies?
can we learn in Internet studies?
The internet is/has been a catalyst for a
new type of ethnography
to develop
information and communication techniques
are creating
new spaces
where knowledge can be produced and studied
These spaces are often
; they are networked, collected, and stored
distributed databases
grid applications
This is a
new model for Anthropology
as a whole
Technology itself is a mediator
- it gives the ethnographer the ability to
completely detach
from the research
several scholars agree that the internet provides an opportunity for the ethnographer to be completely removed from their research
"lurking" gives researcher the chance to be the "ideal observer" (147)
as internet researchers, we need specific and particular skills and discipline to be successful
Beaulieu suggests looking at social network analysis (SNA) for tips
BUT there are also issues which other scholars have with this idea of technology as a "protective barrier":
takes away human aspect of research
limits the scope of access
Full transcript