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Internet as Cultural Context

Use of the Internet as cultural context represents an ideal means of collecting meaningful data for qualitative, quantitative, and rhetorical study of a wide range of subjects, particularly when cultural context exists as a factor salient to research being conducted. The term context refers to a range of cultural, physical, geographic, temporal, historical, religious, aesthetic, and environmental settings within which an action or experience takes place. Context remains crucial not only for data collection, but also for data analysis, as context serves to place people, behaviors, and phenomenon within time and space, providing crucial clues for interpretation of experiences, motivations, stories, actions, and conversations.

Prior to the widespread availability of the Internet, the most common forms of data collection included face-to-face interviews, surveys, lab experiments, observational ...

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