Last week I was desperately short of time and I’m still catching up with some of the secondary readings and videos from the Community Cultures block, as well as trying to find some time to engage with my fellow student’s end of block artefacts.
My main take-out from last week was definitely an appreciation for how much can be gained from observing an online community from within and the similarities between this and participant observation in the the ‘real world’ where the “researcher engaged in participant observation tries to learn what life is like for an ‘insider’ while remaining, inevitably, an ‘outsider’.” (Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide).
I also spent some time thinking about my work role and the Learning Community I manage, how much I’m the instigator of the ‘cultural norms’ (Kozinets, R.V. 2010) that exist within its discussion forums, how many of these ‘norms’ I’ve created for my own convenience and how much of this is simply an attempt to lead by example.
I was relieved to receive some positive feedback from Jeremy on my ethnography write up, as I was concerned that some of it was wide of the mark in terms of the way it should be presented. Many description of ethnography call for ‘rich’ or ‘thick’ narrative; telling the story from arrival and first contact to becoming embedded in the community’s culture. With so little community to comment on this was always going to be a difficult task. However, I think the finished artefact ticks many of the boxes in this description of ‘How to do ethnography ‘Nursing Research Using Ethnography: Qualitative Designs and Methods in Nursing’
“An ethnographic report includes clear and thick description of research methodology, including of people who participated in the study and the experiences and processes observed during the study.” […] “The researchers prejudices and biases are also highlighted.”
Mack, N. et al (2005) Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide, Family Health International
Kozinets, R. V. (2010) Chapter 2 ‘Understanding Culture Online’, Netnography: doing ethnographic research online.
De Chesnay, M (2015), Nursing Research Using Ethnography: Qualitative Designs and Methods in Nursing, Chapter 5, Springer Publishing Company, LLC