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Online Ethnography - LRDG Seminar

Date: 2 June 2009 Time: 1.00 - 2.00 pm

Online ethnography: using screen-based observation in Web 2 research Jannis Androutsopoulos, King's College, London Online ethnography can be thought of as having a screen-based and a participant-based dimension. The former is based on systematic observation of online activities, whereas the latter draws on direct (face-to-face or mediated) contact to participants. In previous work on discourse-centred online ethnography (Androutsopoulos 2008) I discussed how these two techniques might complement each other within a sociolinguistic approach to computer-mediated discourse. In this paper I discuss the elicitation and use of screen-based data in my current study of web 2 environments. Even though the notion of screen-based ethnography might seem an oxymoron at first sight, I emphasise the dynamic process of observing and tracking online activities, and suggest that such research practice is a precondition for developing process-based categories in computer-mediated discourse analysis. I illustrate this with three concepts that are central to my analysis of facebook and YouTube data: multimodality, intertextuality, and heteroglossia. Understanding their workings depends on understanding how online activities unfold and online texts are interrelated. Against that background I identify some practical aspects of hypertextual exploration that I came to recognise as relevant in screen-based ethnography: identifying units of analysis; enhancing contextual information; and understanding indicators of online activity. Reference Androutsopoulos, J. (2008) Potentials and limitations of discourse-centered online ethnography. Language@Internet , 5, article 8. [Special issue on Data and Methods in Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis , guest eds. J Androutsopoulos & M. Bei▀wenger.]

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Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: Literacies, Literacy


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
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