Meaning & Significance of Digital Ethnography

Posted by futurebrands39 on February 26th, 2016

Digital ethnography can be described as the methodology or process of carrying out the ethnographic research in the digital space. A digital field website is basically comprises of video, pictures and text and in addition to this might also contain behavior patterns and social relation strewn of several cities, countries or the intellectual geographies. The area site can also be the composition of singular belief like brand following or sometimes it can also be of dozens of networks, numbers of various social customs, belief patterns and actions.

Huge network like Twitter and Facebook have their very own sets and subgroups of the cultures gravitating to each other. Similar to traditional anthropologist, key concern of the digital ethnography is finding the area site and understanding or learning native’s language. The main difference is that any anthropologist might be capable of accessing the area site without any physical travel. In several cases, area site can be the mental construct developed by group of nodes, distributed geographically on the information network.

digital ethnography

Digital & Traditional Ethnography –

Traditional ethnography is consist of proximal relations, kinship studies, cultural customs and language, tool use, philosophical beliefs, geography as well as patterns of behavior in play, work, social class and intimacy. The similar toolset can also be applied to digital space, if anthropologist is technical sufficient for understanding online field site.

The difference between analog ethnography and digital ethnography is that the field site is not entirely analog, yet can get composed of both analog and digital or entirely online parts. Unlike traditional anthropologist that might go to other nation, city or any place for research, digital anthropologist must travel via internet for locating field site. And similar to the traditional ethnographer has their own set of tools; digital ethnographer must also have the set of the tools for recording and understanding digital space.

Some of the most common tools of the digital ethnographers are the website archiving, screen-capture software, blogs, servers and system of content management. These tools are very much equivalent to the audio journals and recorders. The latest addition to the digital ethnography is the virtual ethnography.

Till date, seminal works describing or collecting ethnographic or the anthropological ways of the digital researchers does not exist. As this discipline becomes main stream, we will possibly see some of these guides.

One should always remember that the humans will always remain human, and the technology helps only in connecting and fewer times amplifies humanness. Other that technological interface field site structuring, ethnography is digital space is no longer strange or bizarre as compared to the field work in varied and vast human territories of the real life.

Like it? Share it!


About the Author

Joined: August 6th, 2014
Articles Posted: 34

More by this author