Ethnography for the Internet Embedded, Embodied and Everyday
The internet has become embedded into our daily lives, no longer an esoteric phenomenon, but instead an unremarkable way of carrying out our interactions with one another. Online and offline are interwoven in everyday experience. Using the internet has become accepted as a way of being present in the world, rather than a means of accessing some discrete virtual domain. Ethnographers of these contemporary Internet-infused societies consequently find themselves facing serious methodological dilemmas: where should they go, what should they do there and how can they acquire robust knowledge about what people do in, through and with the internet?This book presents an overview of the challenges faced by ethnographers who wish to understand activities that involve the internet. Suitable for both new and experienced ethnographers, it explores both methodological principles and practical strategies for coming to terms with the definition of field sites, the connections between online and offline and the changing nature of embodied experience. Examples are drawn from a wide range of settings, including ethnographies of scientific institutions, television, social media and locally based gift-giving networks.
"Hines distinguishes between ethnographic research perspectives that position the Internet as a phenomenon totally integrated into the social lives of many of its users and those that view the Internet as a sphere of activity set apart from everyday life … Context is everything in ethnography, and in detailed accounts of actual research projects, Hine shows how ethnographic and non-ethnographic methods can be combined to move from generalized to interaction-specific contexts of situation. Summing Up: Recommended. Most levels/libraries. - CHOICE - A. Arno, University of Hawai'i at Manoa This book provides a useful way of framing an approach to the Internet which acknowledges the way that the technology, and the literature on the technology, has largely evolved ... [along with] helpful case studies of such research in action. - Anthropos If Hine has not literally had the last word in her review of the scholarly literature on her subject, well, it would be hard to imagine anyone topping her anytime soon. This expansive, clear-eyed, yet nuanced vision of a subject is precisely what one should expect of a senior academic, and boy does she deliver in spades ... Ethnography for the Internet is both a challenging and magisterial book by a scholar working at the fullest extent of her powers. I certainly anticipate returning to it in the weeks, months, and years to come, and many colleagues will undoubtedly be doing the same. This book is highly recommended. - LSE Review of Books - Casey Brienza, City University London, UK The issues she raises and the advice she gives are relevant to professional anthropologists and scholar of contemporary culture too, who can no longer take the 'place' or the 'society' as given or stable … the subjects of our ethnography constantly reshuffle themselves. Just as anthropology had to adapt—and successfully adapted—to the crisis of the 1970s and the 'multi-sited' challenge of the 1990s, so it will adapt to the new century, and Hine has given us some valuable tools to reflect on our practices and modify them to virtual and conventional settings alike. - Anthropology Review Database - David Eller Christine Hine, one of the pioneers of Internet ethnography, offers a new perspective ... on this field of research. - L'Homme (Bloomsbury Translation)."