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Cyber-Ethnography and the Emergence of the Virtually New Community

Cyber-Ethnography and the Emergence of the Virtually New Community The aim is to demonstrate how cyber-ethnography has become the most appropriate tool in reaching a definition of the virtual community. It is argued through the cyber-ethnographic examination of two virtual communities that, interpretative research methods traditionally associated with the social sciences enforce preconceived ideas and normative frameworks on to the virtual community. Cyber-ethnography allows a reflexive methodology to emerge, thus enabling the participants of virtual communities to define their own reality and perimeters. It is propounded that there are two elements to the virtual community. First, it is emphasized that a hybrid space is rapidly emerging that is neither absolutely physical or virtual. Through its convergence with the physical the virtual community's existence is apparent, though not unconditionally virtual. Secondly, the participants are depicted as having a transitory, unconditional relationship with the virtual community. That is; they will only participate for short periods when they require use of the resources that the virtual community has to offer. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Information Technology SAGE

Cyber-Ethnography and the Emergence of the Virtually New Community

Journal of Information Technology , Volume 14 (1): 11 – Mar 1, 1999

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References (36)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 1999 Association for Information Technology Trust
ISSN
0268-3962
eISSN
1466-4437
DOI
10.1177/026839629901400108
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The aim is to demonstrate how cyber-ethnography has become the most appropriate tool in reaching a definition of the virtual community. It is argued through the cyber-ethnographic examination of two virtual communities that, interpretative research methods traditionally associated with the social sciences enforce preconceived ideas and normative frameworks on to the virtual community. Cyber-ethnography allows a reflexive methodology to emerge, thus enabling the participants of virtual communities to define their own reality and perimeters. It is propounded that there are two elements to the virtual community. First, it is emphasized that a hybrid space is rapidly emerging that is neither absolutely physical or virtual. Through its convergence with the physical the virtual community's existence is apparent, though not unconditionally virtual. Secondly, the participants are depicted as having a transitory, unconditional relationship with the virtual community. That is; they will only participate for short periods when they require use of the resources that the virtual community has to offer.

Journal

Journal of Information TechnologySAGE

Published: Mar 1, 1999

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