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Ethnography sample lecture


Katie Freund

on 27 September 2012

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Transcript of Ethnography sample lecture

Ethnography and
Participant Observation Katie Freund An ethnography of vidding What is ethnography? Participant Observation Or in my case... History Ethnographic Methods Introduction and history
Types of methods
Digital ethnography
Role of subjectivity and objectivity
The researcher and the participants
Ethical concerns LECTURE OUTLINE Ethnos – “people, folk”; graphein – “writing”
Staple method of anthropology
Also used in sociology, media studies, cultural studies
Analysing cultures, societies, communities using a variety of methods
Namely, participant observation Ancient accounts of other cultures
Herodotus, Marco Polo
Colonial period and “armchair anthropologists”
Edward Tylor, James Frazer
Participant observation (late 19th/early 20th)
Bronislaw Malinowski, Franz Boas

“Crisis of anthropology” (Writing Culture, 1986)
George Marcus, James Clifford
Postmodern anthropology and new issues
Feminism, globalisation, post-colonialism,
LGBT Inherent oxymoron
Learn by doing
Critical observation of everyday practices
Describing cultures in their own terms
How people talk about their experiences and practices An impromptu group interview in Toronto, Canada at an anime convention Mostly qualitative
Participant observation
Observing and making notes on events, speech, clothing, behaviour
Participating in events and recording personal reactions and thoughts
Supplemented by interviews, focus groups, conversation/discourse analysis, spatial analysis (passive observation)
Some quantitative
Questionnaires, surveys, demographic information, frequency Ethnographic Methods Full immersion in a foreign culture for several years in the style of traditional anthropology
e.g.: Maggi, “Our Women are Free” (2001)

Studying part-time urban or contemporary communities or subcultures, where the participants are involved only at specific times
e.g.: Hodkinson, “Goth” (2002)

Use of some ethnographic methods (media & cultural studies)
e.g.: Ang, “Watching Dallas” (1982) Key questions:
How do the users of the Internet understand it?
How does it work as a form of communication?
How does the Internet affect social relationships in time and space?
How is it different to “real life” (RL)?
What are the implications for authority and authenticity?
What are the implications for identity?
Is the ‘virtual’ experienced as different from the real?
What are the boundaries between online and offline?
From Hine, “Virtual Ethnography.” (2000, p. 8) Digital Ethnography The Online Fieldsite http://community.livejournal.com/vidding
Full transcript