cyberethnography as home-work

Adi Kuntsman, PhD-student at the Department of Sociology of Lancaster university (UK) does a research-project called: “Violent belongings: Russian-speaking GLBT [Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered] immigrants in Israel”: “My research explores the role of violence in the formation of on-line GLBT spaces. The main research question is: what are the relations between violence, sexuality and belonging? The research combines different disciplinary approaches to violence: media research and, in particular, the study of violence in cyberspace; studies of violent entertainment; and anthropological research on violence and subjectivity.
    I have recently completed a ten-month ethnography that took place on-line and in Israel. My analysis of the community’s website – the main site of my research – showed that various forms of violent speech were used by the participants to define, narrate and perform their collective belonging. The violent speech was embedded in the complex web of sexual, ethnic and national affiliations and conflicts that constitute the life of this community. […]

Especially interesting for me is her article on ‘cyberethnography’:

KUNTSMAN, ADI. 2004. Cyberethnography as homework. Anthropology Matters Journal 6(2). Electronic Document. Available online: (.html, 38KB) (.pdf, 180KB)

official abstract:”Cyberspace invites the rethinking of the concepts culture and location. But it also demands a re-examination of the idea of ‘the field’ in virtual-or what is also called cyber-ethnography. This article focuses on one way of locating the field in cyberspace by exploring the concept of home as it is conceptualized by the ethnographer and imagined and negotiated by those with whom she works. The article suggests a critical way of approaching belonging on-line, and examines the epistemological position of anthropology at home when applied to cyberspace. On a theoretical level, this article brings together the growing field of cyber-studies and critical feminist and post-colonial perspectives.”

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