My Personal Social Identity Project

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In preparation for doing ethnographic research, it is crucial that one understands not only what ethnography is and how it relates to its audience, but also how one’s own identities influence the research taking place. For these reasons, this Digital Culture Project will focus on, among other things, what ethnography is and its relationship to various media as well as self-ethnography and realizing its importance when conducting ethnographic research. Additionally, my personal social identity will be examined and reflected upon. First and foremost, an understanding must be had of what ethnography is. To define ‘ethnography,’ I will defer to Ellen Isaacs, a corporate ethnographer for Xerox PARC, who gave a presentation on ethnography at…show more content…
Ruth Behar, in her book, The Vulnerable Observer, humorously claims that “nothing is stranger than this business of humans observing other humans in order to write about them,” so naturally, presenting the information gathered through such observations can be seen as something of a challenge for ethnographers (Behar, 5). While many ethnographers have continued using literal media to present their research, others have taken to digital media in new and effective ways. Fortunately, with the growing presence and accessibility of computer technology, ethnography and the digital media have become increasingly intertwined in their use. Arguably, the most effective ethnographic research incorporates new media and technologies into how its narratives are portrayed. According to Underberg and Zorn, “ethnography that uses a diverse set of media such as videos, photographs, or digital media to communicate multisensory experience[s] and knowledge” is known as “multisensory ethnography” (Underberg and Zorn, 18-19). In using various media to present research, not only are ethnographers able to have more control over how their audience perceives their findings, but they also make those findings more accessible to audiences of all ages. For example, a two hundred page book documenting a year spent in the villages of sub-Saharan Africa is largely appealing only to those in academia, but an interactive exhibit
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