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Ethnography beyond the looking glass: Rethinking the methodological approaches of media anthropology 
Deniz Duru (Lund University)
Roger Norum (University of Oulu)
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Wednesday 22 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Lisbon

Short Abstract:

This panel queries to what extent studying aspects of media (e.g. media practices, social media engagement, the mediation of everyday life) calls for innovative tools and approaches in ethnographic fieldwork, particularly when anthropologists engage in interdisciplinary or collaborative research.

Long Abstract:

Anthropology as a discipline often holds as sacred its ideas about what ethnography is and how it should be carried out, with anthropologists at times staunchly defending the classical Malinowskian mode as the preeminent ethnographic approach. But other disciplines also make use of various forms of ethnographic methodologies, albeit in sometimes distinct ways. Taking Howell's (2017) article on the inseparability of anthropology and ethnography as a point of departure, this panel questions whether and/or to what extent studying various aspects of media (e.g. media practices, engagement on social media, the mediation of everyday life, non-visual or non-logocentric forms of data collection) might call for different tools, methods and approaches in ethnographic fieldwork - particularly when scholars are engaged in interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Following the work of Hine (2015), Pertierra (2018) and Pink et al. (2018), we put anthropology's ethnographic methodology in discussion with that of media studies. The papers on this panel address some of the following threads: a) the interdisciplinary tensions of conducting media/digital ethnographic research; b) whether or not anthropologists need to update or shift their methodological toolkits while exploring digital media practices; c) how to best represent research findings (e.g. showing that writing is not the only effective way of capturing, analysing and understanding ethnographic insights); and d) what interdisciplinary ethnographic methodologies might contribute to anthropological knowledge and theory.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 22 July, 2020, -
Panel Video visible to paid-up delegates