The Googled ethnographer

Saltmarsh, Sue (2013) The Googled ethnographer. Qualitative Research Journal, 13 (3). pp. 236-243. ISSN 1443-9883


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider how researcher positionality is reconfigured
by internet use.

Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on recent ethnographic studies conducted in Australia
and Canada, the paper considers here how participant agency is symbolically and materially enacted
through technology use.

Findings – The use of information communication technologies by researchers, research participants
and industry partners in online information searching, and the production and dissemination of text
poses challenges to conventional assumptions of unequal power relations in research sites.

Research limitations/implications – The paper explores methodological, theoretical and practical
implications of being a Googled ethnographer whose life, work, professional activities and networks as
represented online are available for public scrutiny.

Originality/value – The paper argues, taking inspiration from Sarah Pink’s recent work, that the author’s
and others’ use of information and communication technologies implicates us in shared “entanglements” of
responsibility within and beyond research sites. The importance of these entanglements for contemporary
thinking about researcher positionality, research relationships and researched/researching subjectivities
is also considered.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 07:49
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2017 00:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: information technology, qualitative research, ethnography
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130302 Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1108/QRJ-12-2012-0034

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