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Social [Media] Distancing

Cearns, Jennifer Helen; (2023) Social [Media] Distancing. Journal of Digital Social Research , 4 (4) pp. 76-88. 10.33621/jdsr.v4i4.48. Green open access

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This article examines the role of digital ethnographic methods in an emerging research landscape struck by COVID-19, whereby more traditional anthropological methods have been rendered impossible due to social distancing restrictions. It argues that while anthropology has long privileged physical proximity and presence as a central tenet of ethnographic method, digital methods can also afford a certain sense of social distance, which in fact can be beneficial to the research process. It draws upon experiences of conducting fifteen months of fieldwork both online and offline amongst marginalised groups in Cuba and its diaspora in Miami to reveal the ways in which digital distance can level the relationship between researcher and researched, and ultimately lead to a more ethical way of carrying out fieldwork amongst vulnerable communities.

Type: Article
Title: Social [Media] Distancing
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.33621/jdsr.v4i4.48
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.33621/jdsr.v4i4.48
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright (c) 2023 Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10163298
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