A Change of Fields

The Revaluation of Field in Virtual Ethnography

Since the beginning of the 1990s there has been a growing interest in the social scientific study of the World Wide Web. However it was only after the millennium that the importance of qualitative research methods grew amongst internet studies. The research of online communities and cultural practices resulted in changes not only in the sphere of internet studies but also in the traditional framework of methodological terminology. The introduction of virtual ethnography for example brought forth questions not only about how we can write ethnography online but also what we should conceive as the field of research. The following article aims to provide a short overview on the characteristics of the virtual field and its distinctive features from the „traditional”, materially defined field. Furthermore the text summarises some of the most important points made by virtual ethnography with a focus on the notion of the field. Though its scope is limited and cannot provide a thorough account on the latest changes in tendencies in producing ethnographies online, the article tries to make up for the hiatus of Hungarian articles dealing with this specific field of research.

Released: Replika 90–91, 27–37.
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