Ethnography for the Internet : embedded, embodied and by Christine Hine

By Christine Hine

The web has turn into embedded into our day-by-day lives, now not an esoteric phenomenon, yet as a substitute an unremarkable manner of accomplishing our interactions with each other. on-line and offline are interwoven in daily adventure. utilizing the web has develop into accredited as a fashion of being found in the area, instead of a method of getting access to a few discrete digital area. Ethnographers of those modern Internet-infused societies accordingly locate themselves dealing with severe methodological dilemmas: the place should still they cross, what may still they do there and the way can they collect strong wisdom approximately what humans do in, via and with the internet?

This ebook provides an outline of the demanding situations confronted by way of ethnographers who desire to comprehend actions that contain the net. compatible for either new and skilled ethnographers, it explores either methodological rules and useful ideas for coming to phrases with the definition of box websites, the connections among on-line and offline and the altering nature of embodied event. Examples are drawn from a variety of settings, together with ethnographies of clinical associations, tv, social media and in the community dependent gift-giving networks.

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Along the way I have studied some quite diverse settings. I started out with online ethnography looking at what the people producing websites and participating in online discussions in response to a high-profile media event thought they were up to (Hine 2000). In that study I examined emergent online social structures and looked at the way that various media portrayals of the Internet shaped expectations of what the Internet could and should do for people. I carried out documentary analysis on websites themselves and on media coverage of the Internet, employed discourse analysis to investigate online forums, 30 ETHNOGRAPHY FOR THE INTERNET participated in and observed online events, and carried out interviews with the creators of websites and participants in online forums.

It was also a significant cultural object, in that it carried some powerful connotations for users and commentators. Using the Internet was seen as an important way of being up to date, and of reaching out to potential users of scientific knowledge. My interest in the role that the Internet plays in the very specific concerns of scientific research has been accompanied by an enduring interest in the role of the Internet in more mundane, everyday settings. I have been interested in the entwining of mass media with the Internet, exploring the extent to which the Internet both provides an outlet for new forms of audiencehood to emerge and at the same time makes it feasible for audience researchers to develop a new sense of everyday engagement with media (Hine 2011b).

This transcendent model of cyberspace was a dominant metaphor for understanding the possibilities of the newly emerging Internet (Arora 2012) and proved hugely productive for creating a sense of wonder and expectation around the socially transformative possibilities of the Internet. This model of the Internet emphasized the role of the technology in opening up possibilities for social interaction to be re-organized across time and space and for identities to be fluid and multiple. The Internet was also envisaged as a manifestation of post-modern ideas about the breakdown of enduring structures of power and knowledge and identity (for example Poster 1995; Turkle 1995; Stone 1996).

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