The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography

1st Edition

Edited by Larissa Hjorth, Heather Horst, Anne Galloway, Genevieve Bell


494 pages

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Hardback: 9781138940918
pub: 2016-12-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315673974
pub: 2017-01-20
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With the increase of digital and networked media in everyday life, researchers have increasingly turned their gaze to the symbolic and cultural elements of technologies. From studying online game communities, locative and social media to YouTube and mobile media, ethnographic approaches to digital and networked media have helped to elucidate the dynamic cultural and social dimensions of media practice. The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography provides an authoritative, up-to-date, intellectually broad, and conceptually cutting-edge guide to this emergent and diverse area.

Features include:

  • a comprehensive history of computers and digitization in anthropology;
  • exploration of various ethnographic methods in the context of digital tools and network relations;
  • consideration of social networking and communication technologies on a local and global scale;
  • in-depth analyses of different interfaces in ethnography, from mobile technologies to digital archives.

Table of Contents

Part I – Debating Digital Ethnography

1. Computers in/and anthropology: the poetics and politics of digitization

2. From virtual ethnography to the embedded, embodied, everyday Internet

3. Vectors for fieldwork: computational thinking and new modes of ethnography

4. A performative digital ethnography: data, design, and speculation

5. The fieldsite as a network: a strategy for locating ethnographic research

6. Remote ethnography: studying digital politics in Spain and Indonesia from afar

7. Mixing it: digital ethnography and online research methods—a tale of two global digital music genres

Part II – Relationships

8. Small places turned inside out: social networking in small communities

9. "Doing family" at a distance: transnational family practices in polymedia environments

10. Researching death online

11. Relational labor, fans, and collaborations in professional rock climbing

Part III – Visibility and Voice

12. "Our media"? Microblogging and the elusiveness of voice in China

13. Participatory complications in interactive, video-sharing environments

14. Influencer extravaganza: a decade of commercial "lifestyle" microcelebrities in Singapore

15. Nah Leavin’ Trinidad: the place of digital music production among amateur musicians in Trinidad

Part IV – Place and Co-Presence

16. Locating emerging media: ethnographic reflections on culture, selfhood, and place

17. Making "ournet not the Internet": an ethnography of homebrew high-tech practices in suburban Australia

18. Locative mobile media and the development of unplanned, fleeting encounters with pseudonymous strangers, and virtual acquaintances in urban public places

19. Mobile media matters: the ethnography and phenomenology of itinerant interfaces

20. Placing mobile ethnography: mobile communication as a practice of place making

Part V – Play

21. Digital gaming, social inclusion, and the right to play: a casestudy of a Venezuelan cybercafé

22. Kayfabe: an indepth look at WWE and its fandom using digital ethnography

23. Running, gender, and play with Zombies, Run!

24. Hands between the worlds

Part VI – Arts

25. Reflections on teaching and displaying with the help of emerging technologies

26. The art of play: ethnography and playful interventions with young people

27. The (be)coming of selfies: revisiting an onlife ethnography on digital photography practices

28. Mobile filmmaking

29. Curating digital resonance

Part VII – Infrastructures

30. Instant archives?

31. The fortune of scarcity: digital music circulation in Cuba

32. An infrastructural approach to digital ethnography: lessons from the Manchester Infrastructures of Social Change project 

33. Riding the rails of mobile payments: financial inclusion, mobile phones, and infrastructure

34. Polar infrastructures

Part VIII – Politics

35. Digital ethnography of mobiles for development

36. Mediated political agency in contested Africa

37. Ethnography beyond and within digital structures and the study of social media activism

38. The search for Wikipedia’s edges

39. Environmental sensing and control

Part IX – Design

40. The politics of design, design as politics

41. Ethnography and the ongoing in digital design

42. Disruptive interventions with mobile media through Design+Ethnography+Futures

43. More-Than-Human Lab: critical and ethnographic experiments after human exceptionalism

44. Using fiction to explore social facts: the Laboratory of Speculative Ethnology

About the Editors

Larissa Hjorth is Distinguished Professor and Director of HDR in the College of Design and Social Context at RMIT University and was co-founding (with Professor Heather Horst) Director of RMIT’s Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC).

Heather Horst is Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University and Director, Research Partnerships in the College of Design and Social Context at RMIT University. She was the director of DERC from 2012-2015.

Anne Galloway is Senior Lecturer in Culture+Context Design at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Genevieve Bell is currently a Senior Fellow and Vice President at Intel Corporation where she works in their Corporate Strategy Office, driving long-term strategic visioning and insights.

About the Series

Routledge Media and Cultural Studies Companions

Routledge Media and Cultural Studies Companions offer thorough, high-quality surveys and assessments of the major topics in the fields of media and cultural studies. All entries in each companion are specially commissioned and written by leading scholars in the field. Clear, accessible, and cutting-edge, these companions are the ideal resource for advanced undergraduates, postgraduate students, and researchers alike.

You may also wish to visit our Routledge Handbooks Online platform to view Routledge’s full companion and handbook offerings:

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies