Virtual Ethnography

Front Cover
SAGE, 2000 M04 4 - 192 pages
Cutting though the exaggerated and fanciful beliefs about the new possibilities of `net life′, Hine produces a distinctive understanding of the significance of the Internet and addresses such questions as: what challenges do the new technologies of communication pose for research methods? Does the Internet force us to rethink traditional categories of `culture′ and `society′?

In this compelling and thoughtful book, Hine shows that the Internet is both a site for cultural formations and a cultural artefact which is shaped by people′s understandings and expectations. The Internet requires a new form of ethnography. The author considers the shape of this new ethnography and guides readers through its application in multiple settings.

From inside the book


1 Introduction
2 Internet as Culture and Cultural Artefact
3 The Virtual Objects of Ethnography
4 The Making of a Virtual Ethnography
5 Time Space and Technology
6 Authenticity and Identity in Internet Contexts
7 Reflection
Glossary of Internet Terms

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About the author (2000)

Christine Hine is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey. She joined the Department in 2003, having previously worked at Brunel University within the Department of Human Sciences and the Centre for Research into Innovation, Culture and Technology. Hine was President of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology from 2004 to 2008. She has published widely in virtual research methods, with a particular focus on online ethnography; her first major work, Virtual Ethnography, enjoyed a considerable success as one of the pioneering works to explore the integration of the Internet with existing methodological principles in qualitative research. Her main research centres on the sociology of science and technology, including ethnographic studies of scientific culture, information technology and the Internet, and she has also taken a lead role in promoting discussion of methodologies for sociological understanding of the Internet.

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