Feeling Digital and Reimagining Fieldwork during COVID Times

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Yichen Rao, Anna Castel & Lili Almási-Szabó* During the outbreak of COVID-19, everyday life has been modified in accordance with the protocols that every country has implemented. These modifications have posed ongoing challenges for fieldworkers, artists, and practice-based ethnographic researchers, while they have simultaneously produced opportunities for these researchers to reimagine fieldwork, ethnography, art, and […]

Aging in a Digitalized World: Beyond a User/Non-User Framework*

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Sophie Colas** Engagement with digital technology takes numerous, often very abstract and tenuous forms that sometimes involve the intervention of other people. Such multiple engagement with digital technology appears to be particularly relevant in old age but would probably apply to other age groups likewise. While studying how elderly Parisians engage with ICT (Information and […]

How Can You Approach the Field Digitally? Reflections on Using Social Media Profiles in Ethnographic Research*

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Simone Pfeifer** As contact restrictions tightened last year with the developing pandemic, ever more colleagues began asking me for advice on “how to do digital ethnography”, knowing that I had been doing it since long before the virus transformed life as we knew it. Their immediate concern was “how to enter their field digitally” to transform […]

Smartphones and Public Anthropology

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Sanderien Verstappen* Report on the RAI conference panel “Critical play: Smartphones as a mode of creative engagement with crisis” during the RAI Film Festival 2021. Smartphones are increasingly used in anthropological research, teaching, and knowledge dissemination. While their usage is not limited to the pandemic, situations of social distancing and online teaching have increased the dependency […]

Authenticity and Digital Intimacy Between Influencers and Researchers*

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Marie Hermanova** Ethnography of and on social media, in which my own research on female influencers on Czech Instagram is embedded, presents a growing, diverse and exciting field of research. It also places the ethnographer in an intricate network of relationships that are both more distant, yet also more intimate than their offline counterparts. As […]

Only Half the Story – Rethinking the Relationship Between Digital Ethnographers and Their Devices*

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Franziska Weidle** In their initial post to this blog series, Monika Palmberger and Philipp Budka highlight, among other things, that “the incorporation and integration of technological devices and apps as ‘research tools’ have the potential to contribute to new modes of collaboration by ‘democratizing’ the relationship between researchers and research partners”. In a STS or […]

Collaborative Ethnography in the Digital Age: Towards a New Methodological Framework*

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Monika Palmberger & Philipp Budka** Digital ethnography has become a very vibrant research field, as the growing body of literature indicates (e.g. Hjorth et al., 2017; Pink et al., 2016). Nevertheless, we sense that methodological debates often fall short. With this contribution to the Digital Ethnography Initiative (DEI) blog, we would like to open up […]