SEEING, SENSING AND FOLLOWING: ADVANCES IN ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH
The social world we study has changed in many ways (e.g. epistemologically, technologically and culturally) and so does how we practice ethnography. While the principles of long-term immersion in the field, systematic observation and writing detailed fieldnotes remain at the heart of ethnographic research, much has changed about the definition of the ‘field’, the focus of the research, the style of writing, and the mode of communication.
Ethnographers have embraced new ways both in how they explore social phenomena and how they communicate their research. This involves an increased awareness of the importance of utilising a wide range of senses – beyond observation – to navigate ethnographic research and explore hidden aspects of social life (e.g. ‘deep story’). Ethnographers are also increasingly utilising a range of communicative resources in their work – including recorded sound, still and moving images, as well as speech and writing (e.g. multi-modal ethnography). Further, some other researchers work on the olfactory as well as the visual and auditory aspects through ethnography. More recently, researchers have adapted ethnographic methods to the study of communities and cultures created through computer-mediated social interactions (whether as virtual ethnography or netnography and even auto netnography). There is a clear recognition that multisensory experience and advanced technology have changed the way we understand and research everyday life.
In this year’s Ethnography Symposium, we would like to bring together ethnographers in different disciplines who engage in wide forms of ethnographic research. The symposium aims to showcase the richness and diversity of ethnographic methods. We expect that the majority of the contributions will be submitted in a written format and will be delivered using traditional presentational software, we are, however, open to contributions which use alternative media. Beyond this, and in keeping with past conferences, we aim to have the conference open to all who are interested in ethnographic methods. We welcome submissions from both postgraduate researchers and more experienced scholars.