L014
Following mobilities through digital media: a toolbox for digital ethnographers

Convenors:
Christian Ritter (Tallinn University)
Michael Humbracht (University of Surrey)
Stream:
Labs
Location:
SO-E319
Start time:
16 August, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This workshop invites ethnographic researchers who seek to understand the role of media practices in mobile cultures. Attendees will reflect on experimental forms of gathering and presenting data from digital media platforms and craft methodologies for researching digital mobilities. Please email christian.ritter(at)ntnu.no and m.humbracht(at)surrey.ac.uk) to participate!

Long abstract:

This participatory workshop will bring together ethnographic researchers who share the aim to understand the role of media practices in mobile cultures. The corporal travel of refugees, expatriates, immigrant entrepreneurs, members of diaspora communities, tech nomads and tourists is increasingly complemented by digital mobilities. Their stages of staying, moving and settling often involve media practices (Postill, 2010). By enabling instantaneous communication among remote interlocutors, text and video chat technologies built into digital media platforms engender various forms of digital mobility. Transcending geographical and social distance, digital mobilities make it possible to be co-present and influence at a distance. In addition to the boots-on-the-ground presence of Malinowskian fieldwork, digital technologies have extended the ethnographer's capacity for 'being there' and shifted the contours of multi-sited fieldwork (Walton, 2017). Inviting ethnographers conducting fieldwork in the global south and north, the workshop will deliver a toolbox for unravelling the dynamics and interstices of digital mobilities. In the first part of the workshop, attendees will become familiar with recent approaches in digital ethnography (Pink et al., 2017), the use of mobile methods (B├╝scher et al., 2011) and the walkthrough method (Light et al., 2011), while discussing research ethics and strategies for integrating internet research techniques with traditional ethnographic fieldwork. In the second part, participants will form small groups to reflect on experimental forms of ethnography and develop methodologies for studying mobile cultures within the physical-digital continuum. Please send an email to the convenors to register for the workshop (20 participants max). Please email christian.ritter(at)ntnu.no and m.humbracht(at)surrey.ac.uk) to participate!