Field Site as Network: Ethnographies of the Digital
Ethnographic research provides rich detail about a given slice of the social world, providing a nuanced analysis of culture, context, and how people collectively make sense of their daily lives. These inductive and immersive methods can answer questions about shared experiences and perceptions and mechanisms of change, and provide the grounds for generating testable hypotheses. In recent years, ethnographic methods have further expanded in response to challenges from feminist, post-colonial, and anti-racist movements and in recognition of shifting socio-technical assemblages enabled by digital networks and platforms. A number of scholars have taken up the call for reflexive and flexible approaches to studying community life in the digital age, across a range of social spheres. In this course, we will dive into this robust body of recent scholarship and explore what it can teach us about how the digital shapes and is shaped by our social ecosystems.
This class is ideal for graduate students and advanced undergraduates interested in qualitative methods in information studies, including but not limited to those in information,sociology, anthropology, geography, gender and ethnic studies, and other interdisciplinary programs.