What is it about?
How do we do research with social media platforms such as Instagram? Do we watch people use social media or do we, as researchers, use these platforms and write about our experiences. This paper introduces a new method called 'immersive cohabitation' - essentially the researcher lives as their research subjects do, inhabiting both the offline world, and producing similar digital content to enable a blended field of study, with the researcher straddling the online and offline spaces, just as their informants do.
Photo by Youssef Sarhan on Unsplash
Why is it important?
This work is important, not only due to the minimal amount of anthropology written about Instagram, but also due to the place this social media platform occupies in many people's lives. Issues as various as negative self making, self harm and poor mental well being are constantly under media scrutiny, with Instagram often labelled as the culprit. Only through employing new method to find out what is truly occurring online can researchers gain insight and understanding into how peoples lives are changing in the modern world.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Legitimising digital anthropology through immersive cohabitation: Becoming an observing participant in a blended digital landscape, Ethnography, October 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1466138119881165.
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