13. Six ways of doing digital ethnography

Reblogging this for future self-reference. John Postill’s work at the nexus of social movements and digital ethnography very worth checking out for those curious.

media/anthropology

researchTitleThis is the thirteenth instalment in the freedom technologists series. A revised version appears in Pink, S., H. Horst, J. Postill, L. Hjorth, T. Lewis and J. Tacchi. 2016. Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practices. London: Sage.

IN THE 2000s I studied an internet-mediated social world that remained fairly stable throughout the main period of fieldwork, namely the field of residential politics in a middle-class suburb of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Postill 2011). However, digital ethnographers will sometimes find that the social worlds they are researching will experience dramatic changes over a short period of time. In some cases, they may even witness the birth of a new social world whilst still in the field.

This is precisely what happened to me during fieldwork among Internet activists in Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). In May 2011, with little prior warning, the small Internet activism scene I had been researching for ten months was…

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