In this session, we will consider the implications of the intensification of digitally-mediated association on people’s lives and on social sciences practice, including both ‘online’ and ‘offline’ elements. What are the implications for ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative research as the subjects of ‘offline’ research increasingly associate ‘online’ through social media and other digital platforms?
What are some similarities, differences, connections, and disconnections between ‘online’ and ‘offline’ forms of interaction, sociality, and social norms? Do people perceive and act the same ways in ‘online’ versus ‘offline’ spaces?
Working in pairs/small groups and drawing on the suggested readings, participants are asked to consider the online dimensions of their own research topics. How do the subjects of their research engage with social media and/or other online platforms and in what ways is this engagement expected to be relevant to the research? What methods are available to observe, record and assess the online activities/engagements of the research subjects and how should the online and offline dimensions of research be ethnographically and theoretically treated?