Accepted paper:

Switching between on-line and on-site ethnography

Authors:

Berna Yazici (Bogazici University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper builds on my fieldwork with individuals who grew up under state care in residential homes in Turkey. Explaining the research process where I continually had to switch between on-line and on-site ethnography, I demonstrate how digital and conventional ethnography define and refine each other.

Paper long abstract:

This paper builds on my ongoing fieldwork with individuals who grew up under state care in residential homes in Turkey and their associations which aim to promote group solidarity and fight against the social discrimination which impinges on both the institutional and post-institutional lives of those under state care. I reflect on how conducting research with young people in an age where identity-making and activism has extended into the digital space, social media ethnography emerged as central to my research. Concurring with perspectives which refuse to see digital ethnography as an alternative to conventional ethnography, my methodological discussion focuses on the articulations of the two. Explaining the research process where I continually had to switch between on-line and on-site ethnography, I demonstrate how digital and conventional ethnography define and refine each other. The discussion offers an analysis on this relationship between on-line and on-site ethnography by tracing its relevance at multiple stages/components of the research, including the very formulation of the research question, establishment of rapport and field relations, getting access to informants etc.

panel Digi001
Real and/in virtual: from on-site to on-line ethnography