Web Site Development in Action Research

Web Site Development in Action Research

Maximilian C. Forte (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-575-7.ch130
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Abstract

Ethnography has traditionally involved the sustained presence of an anthropologist in a physically fixed field setting, intensively engaged with the everyday life of the inhabitants of a given site, typically, a village or other small community. Conventional notions of the field, especially in anthropology which has been the premiere field-based discipline (see Amit, 2000; Gupta & Ferguson, 1997, 1992), involved basic assumptions of boundedness (the field was a strictly delimited physical place); distance (the field was “away,” and often very far away as well); temporality (one entered the field, stayed for a time, and then left); and otherness (a strict categorical and relational distinction between the outsider/ethnographer and the insider/native informant). The key mode of ethnographic engagement in the field was, and is, that of participant observation. When the Internet enters into ethnography, and when ethnography acquires an online dimension either in the research process or in the production of the documentary outputs of research, we end up facing a situation that leads us to reconsider relationships between the researchers and those who are researched. This is especially true of collaborative, action research projects that involve researchers and activists producing materials for the Web.

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