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What is Participant Observation

Handbook of Research on Web Log Analysis
Research strategies based on a close and intimate familiarity with a group and its practices in their natural environment, usually over an extended period of time.
Published in Chapter:
Nethnography: A Naturalistic Approach Towards Online Interaction
Adriana Andrade Braga (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-974-8.ch024
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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What Does “¡Quédate en casa!” (‘Stay at Home!') Mean for a Poor Woman?: Analysis of an Online Debate Conducted by an Ecuadorian Feminist Group
It is the main methodology utilized in Ethnography and Linguistic Anthropology in which the researcher introduces him/herself, for a time, into the community to be studied as a member of the group with the intention of knowing more in depth the object of study.
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