Slovenský Národopis (Apr 2018)

Digitálna etnografia na ceste k rozšírenému empirizmu: Nový metodologický rámec

  • Umi W. F.HSU

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 66, no. 1
pp. 7 – 28


Read online

The increasing digital mediation in the field of ethnographic inquiry is undeniable. Through the engagement of individual users, governments, corporations, and even grassroots organizations, the ubiquity of computational technology has a farreaching impact on social life. Scholarship on digital ethnography has fallen along a continuum between theory and methodology. By shifting the focus of the digital from a subject to a method of research, this article contends for a methodologically centered framework of digital ethnography that can transcend the digital/physical binary that is more fraught in discourse than it is in the human experience of contemporary culture. Within this framework, ethnographers can leverage the digital affordances of scalability and intermodality to uncover new perspectives on field observations and document social and cultural processes with empirical specificity and precision. Ethnographers can use data and new informational discoveries to extend of their field-based knowledge, achieving what I refer to as “augmented empi- ricism.” In this article, I examine how working with a variety of digital tools, including webscraping, mapping, and sound visualization, could widen the scope of ethnographic work and deepen our practice. Part two focuses on the process of in- terpreting field data and the value of geospatial visualizations. The last part explores digital methods that magnify the perception of physical senses like sound, sight, and space.