Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method

Paperback (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$8.37
(Save 64%)
Est. Return Date: 09/10/2014
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$15.23
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$13.50
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $8.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 61%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $8.95   
  • New (10) from $15.88   
  • Used (4) from $8.95   

Overview

"What does 'being there to know there' mean in the virtual world? 'Not much,' I used to think! Maybe 'virtual ethnography' was an oxymoron? This book changed my mind. Most surprising is how the authors' distillation of ethnography for virtual worlds reveals its essential and classical features. This book renews the craft of ethnography for all of the social sciences in virtual and physical worlds alike, making us think differently about both."—Paul Willis, author of Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs

"This might be the best thing I have ever read about ethnography. I love this book."—Lori Kendall, author of Hanging Out in the Virtual Pub

"Written by a very authoritative team, this is a distinctive guide, rich in practical advice grounded in the authors' experiences."—Christine Hine, author of Virtual Ethnography

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Anthropology Review - Jack David Eller
[W]e can hope that young scholars and established ones, friends and critics of ethnography alike, will read this book, take it seriously, and carry it with them in whatever world they study and inhabit.
Choice
In this useful volume, the coauthors, each of whom is an accomplished virtual world ethnographer, pretty much put to rest threshold questions that might be raised about whether virtual worlds and online cultures can be proper objects of anthropological research. . . . [T]he authors provide as much insight and instructive commentary about traditional ethnography as they do about the ethnography of virtual worlds.
From the Publisher
"[W]e can hope that young scholars and established ones, friends and critics of ethnography alike, will read this book, take it seriously, and carry it with them in whatever world they study and inhabit."—Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review

"In this useful volume, the coauthors, each of whom is an accomplished virtual world ethnographer, pretty much put to rest threshold questions that might be raised about whether virtual worlds and online cultures can be proper objects of anthropological research. . . . [T]he authors provide as much insight and instructive commentary about traditional ethnography as they do about the ethnography of virtual worlds."—Choice

"Ethnography and Virtual Worlds provides invaluable advice, tips, guidelines, principles, and further resources to aid researchers through every stage of a participant observation virtual worlds research project, from choosing the online field site to writing and publishing the results."—John F. Barber, Leonardo Reviews

"[The authors] have produced a very interesting and timely contribution; clearly written, with easy-to-follow case studies. . . . Ethnography and Virtual Worlds will be useful to any graduate student in social sciences, but as well in humanities, media and Cultural Studies or in any interdisciplinary approach focused on virtual worlds. It is not an introduction to ethnography as such, rather a helpful guide to help scholars already familiar with ethnography and related methodologies to adapt their approaches to cases using the Internet and interactive virtual worlds."—Yves Laberge, LSE Review of Books

"I would . . . enthusiastically recommend this book to people interested in virtual world and other digital media ethnography—not just as a handbook of method—but as a compilation of the collective wisdom of these four very experienced and highly respected ethnographers—and as a thoroughly good read."—Jeni Paay, Computer Supported Cooperative Work

"Either at the chapter level or as a whole, Ethnography and Virtual Worlds provides invaluable advice, tips, guide-lines, principles and further resources to aid researchers through every stage of a participant observation virtual worlds research project, from choosing the online field site to writing and publishing the results."—John F. Barber, Leonardo

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691149516
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/16/2012
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 722,583
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Boellstorff is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. His books include "Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human". Bonnie Nardi is professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine. Her books include "My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft". Celia Pearce is associate professor of digital media at Georgia Institute of Technology. Her books include "Communities of Play: Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds". T. L. Taylor is associate professor of comparative media studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her books include "Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture".

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Foreword, by George Marcus xiii

Chapter 1. Why This Handbook? 1
1.1 Beginnings 1
1.2 Why ethnographic methods and why virtual worlds? 6
1.3 Why a handbook? 8
1.4 An orientation to the virtual worlds we studied 9

Chapter 2. Three Brief Histories 13
2.1 A brief history of ethnographic methods 13
2.2 A brief history of virtual worlds 22
2.3 A brief history of research on virtual world cultures 25
2.4 The uses of history 27

Chapter 3. Ten Myths about Ethnography 29
3.1 Ethnography is unscientific 30
3.2 Ethnography is less valid than quantitative research 36
3.3 Ethnography is simply anecdotal 40
3.4 Ethnography is undermined by subjectivity 41
3.5 Ethnography is merely intuitive 42
3.6 Ethnography is writing about your personal experience 43
3.7 Ethnographers contaminate fieldsites by their very presence 44
3.8 Ethnography is the same as grounded theory 45
3.9 Ethnography is the same as ethnomethodology 46
3.10 Ethnography will become obsolete 48

Chapter 4. Research Design and Preparation 52
4.1 Research questions: emergence, relevance, and personal interest 52
4.2 Selecting a group or activity to study 57
4.3 Scope of the fieldsite 59
4.4 Attending to offline contexts 61

Chapter 5. Participant Observation in Virtual Worlds 65
5.1 Participant observation in context 65
5.2 Participant observation in practice 69
5.3 Preparing the researching self 72
5.4 Taking care in initiating relationships with informants 76
5.5 Making mistakes 79
5.6 Taking extensive fieldnotes 82
5.7 Keeping data organized 85
5.8 Participant observation and ethnographic knowledge 87
5.9 The timing and duration of participant observation 88
5.10 The experimenting attitude 90

Chapter 6. Interviews and Virtual Worlds Research 92
6.1 The value of interviews in ethnographic research 92
6.2 Effective interviewing 94
6.3 The value of group interviews in ethnographic research 104
6.4 Size, structure, and location for group interviews 106
6.5 Transcription 110

Chapter 7. Other Data Collection Methods for Virtual Worlds Research 113
7.1 Capturing chatlogs 113
7.2 Capturing screenshots 114
7.3 Capturing video 116
7.4 Capturing audio 117
7.5 Data collection in other online contexts 118
7.6 Historical and archival research 120
7.7 Virtual artifacts 121
7.8 Offline interviews and participant observation 124
7.9 Using quantitative data 126

Chapter 8. Ethics 129
8.1 The principle of care 129
8.2 Informed consent 131
8.3 Mitigating institutional and legal risk 135
8.4 Anonymity 136
8.5 Deception 142
8.6 Sex and intimacy 144
8.7 Doing good and compensation 146
8.8 Taking leave 148
8.9 Accurate portrayal 149

Chapter 9. Human Subjects Clearance and Institutional Review Boards 151
9.1 Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) 151
9.2 Preparing a protocol for IRB review 153
9.3 Working with IRBs 155
9.4 Informed consent and anonymity 156

Chapter 10. Data Analysis 159
10.1 Ethnographic data analysis: flexibility and emergence 159
10.2 Preliminary reflections while in the field 160
10.3 The role of theory in data analysis 162
10.4 Beginning data analysis: systematize and thematize 164
10.5 Working with participant observation data 168
10.6 Working with individual and group interview data 170
10.7 Working with images, video, and textual data 172
10.8 The end of the data analysis phase: from themes to narratives and arguments 174
10.9 Generalization and comparison 176

Chapter 11. Writing Up, Presenting, and Publishing Ethnographic Research 182
11.1 The early stages of writing up: conferences, drafts, blogs 182
11.2 Written genres 185
11.3 Dissemination 186
11.4 The writing process 190
11.5 A quick trip back to the field? 192
11.6 Tone, style, and audience 193

Chapter 12. Conclusion: Arrivals and New Departures 196

References 201
Index 223

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)