This collection of dialogues is the only textbook of its kind. Internet Inquiry: Conversations About Method takes students into the minds of top internet researchers as they discuss how they have worked through critical challenges as they research online social environments. Editors Annette N. Markham and Nancy K. Baym illustrate that good research choices are not random but are deliberate, studied, and internally consistent. Rather than providing single “how to” answers, this book presents distinctive and divergent viewpoints on how to think about and conduct qualitative internet studies.
Key Features and Benefits
Presents each chapter in the form of a question in order to provoke explicit consideration of key issues; Illustrates choices made within larger disciplinary contexts to help students blend approaches, think broadly, and conduct internet research with the benefit of multiplicity; Offers a range of perspectives in each chapter to vividly demonstrate that there are many ways to answer methodological challenges well; Includes contributors from multiple disciplines and across the globe; Provides a highly reflexive writing style that allows readers to see processes that are rarely visible in finished research reports
This edited volume is an excellent supplementary text for a variety of advanced undergraduate and graduate courses such as Internet Research, Research Methods, Qualitative Research Methods, and Computer-Mediated Communication in the departments of communication, media studies, sociology, and anthropology. It will assist new scholars as well as seasoned practitioners in this arena make informed choices in how they conduct inquiry.
Question One: How Can Qualitative Internet Researchers Define the Boundaries of Their Projects?
The notion of immersion implies that the “field” that ethnographers enter exists as an independently bounded set of relationships and activities that is autonomous of the fieldwork through which it is discovered. Yet in a world of infinite interconnections and overlapping contexts, the ethnographic field cannot simply exist, awaiting discovery. It has to be laboriously constructed, pulled apart from all the other possibilities for contextualization to which its constituent relationships and connections could also be referred. (Amit, 2000b, p. 6)
This chapter reflects on how a study of the internet might be defined in terms of the places one chooses to begin and the decisions ...