Digital naturalism: Ethnography in networked worlds

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


The chapter discusses ethnography in online contexts through the frame of ethnographic naturalism. As an adaptive approach that seeks to stay open to analyzing local orders, rather than imposing its own, ethnography generally does not come with a set blueprint of method and necessary practices; the research field makes flexible and often spontaneous reorientation necessary as a matter of course. In fields heavy on digital and online interaction, this means adapting to the specific structures of online communication as they are found in the local and diverse spaces under study. Therefore, the chapter argues that there is no such thing as a specific “online ethnography”, as there is no such thing as a specific ethnography. As with all ethnographic endeavors, practices and approaches remain diverse, flexible, and attuned to the structures under study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Interactionism
EditorsDirk vom Lehn, Natalia Ruiz-Junco, Will Gibson
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Publication date27.05.2021
ISBN (print)9780367227708
ISBN (electronic)9780429276767
Publication statusPublished - 27.05.2021