Ethnographic Research and the Internet

The Internet, especially its social media component, has played a significant yet unheralded role in ethnographic research. The reorientation of human networks that has occurred through the web has rendered both ethnographic data and human informants accessible in manners that would have been inconceivable three decades ago. The proliferation of websites, weblogs (blogs), chat rooms, user groups, message boards, and other formats of virtual community has profoundly changed methodologies and general practices of ethnography. However, various online research methods remain unheralded in many academic corners due to latent stigmas of pedestrianism and unprofessionalism associated with sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and similar platforms. This entry examines how the Internet has affected ethnographic research; the history of Internet research; how online ethnographic research has changed as ...

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