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Jolynna Sinanan & Tom McDonald

In: The SAGE Handbook of Social Media

Chapter 10: Ethnography

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Ethnography
Ethnography
Jolynna SinananTom McDonald

Among a range of established social science research methods, ethnography claims distinctiveness by virtue of its commitment to achieving an especially deep engagement with participants through close observation of, and participation in, their social lives. Ethnography is the primary research method and methodology of anthropology, but ethnographically-informed approaches are used across a wide range of disciplines in contemporary scholarship, including those engaged with social media research. This chapter will examine the role that ethnography can play in understanding social media's impact upon social life, demonstrating ethnography's aptness for discovering new types of socialities and relationships that are made possible by social media. We will also discuss whether the migration of ethnographic methodologies to other disciplines (hastened as researchers across a broad ...

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