Julia Fleischhack

Dealing with the ‘digital’ and ‘virtual’ in Ethnography

Observations from the methodological discourse in Anthropology

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART104093

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This paper presents a synopsis of key methodological strands, focal points and positions in scholarly discussions on digital anthropology, virtual ethnography or internet ethnography, as they have been used since the 1990s in the international field of cultural anthropology and a little later also in the German-language field of Kulturanthropologie/Europaeische Ethnologie/Volkskunde. It examines which tasks, expectations, insights and goals in the extended discipline were connected with the turn to the internet and digital technologies and how precisely the digital and the virtual were negotiated on the methodical and theoretical level. The focus is on the questions: Which particularities and innovations did these methodological discussions about the internet and the digital bring along, and what does the digital render possible for ethnography and the discipline?

digital anthropology, ethnography, internet, digital media, methodology, mediatized sociality, learning processes