Nethnography: Understanding Social Interaction in Digital Environments

01/03/2019 (Thursday) 13:00-14:00 E4-G062

This lecture explores the possibilities and limitations of nethnography, an ethnographic approach applied to the study of online interactions, particularly computer-mediated communication (CMC). In this talk, a brief history of ethnography, including its relation to anthropological theories and its key methodological assumptions is addressed. Next, one of the most frequent methodologies applied to Internet settings is to treat log files as the main source of data explored, and its consequences are analyzed. In addition, some strategies related to a naturalistic perspective for data analysis are examined. Finally, an example of a nethnographic study, which involves participants of a forum, is presented to illustrate the potential for this methodology to enhance the study of digital environments.

Adriana A. Braga, PhD. is a Brazilian researcher with a Bachelor degree in Psychology and Master and Doctorate studies in Communication Sciences. She is Associate Professor at the Social Communication Department at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica/Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), and Coordinator of the Digital Media Lab. Researcher of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development

(CNPq, Brazil). Her PhD Thesis entitled Computer-Mediated Femininity: social interaction in a blog-circuit was the recipient of the 2007 Media Ecology Association’s Harold A. Innis Award and the CAPES Award for Best PhD Dissertation on Communications 2007. Among other publications, Dr. Braga is the editor of the book CMC, Identidades e Género: teoria e método (Portugal, 2005) as well as author of Personas Materno-Eletrônicas: uma análise do blog Mothern (Brazil, 2008) and Summer-Body: journalism and discourse in Women’s Magazines (Brazil, 2016).