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

Intended Audience

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.

What Constitutes Quality in Qualitative Internet Research?
What constitutes quality in qualitative internet research?
Nancy K.Baym

Most of us would find it easier to conduct research if there were a clear set of rules to follow, if we could be assured that the paths of least resistance would be the most fruitful, or if were we guaranteed at least one “aha” moment in which it all fell into place and the right route was revealed. Qualitative research is never going to offer those things. As the writers in this collection show, doing qualitative research well is a matter of finding practical and defensible balancing points between opposing tensions. We always make trade-offs in our research choices. The trick is to understand the trade-offs we are making well ...

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