Nethnography: A Naturalistic Approach Towards Online Interaction

Nethnography: A Naturalistic Approach Towards Online Interaction

Adriana Andrade Braga (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-652-5.ch117


This chapter explores the possibilities and limitations of nethnography, an ethnographic approach applied to the study of online interactions, particularly computer-mediated communication. In this chapter, a brief history of ethnography, including its relation to anthropological theories and its key methodological assumptions is addressed. Next, one of the most frequent methodologies applied to Internet settings, that is to treat logfiles as the only or main source of data, is explored, and its consequences are analyzed. In addition, some strategies related to a naturalistic perspective for data analysis are examined. Finally, an example of an ethnographic study, which involves participants of a Weblog, is presented to illustrate the potential for nethnography to enhance the study of CMC.

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