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Conflict Chatnography: Instant messaging apps, social media and conflict ethnography in Ukraine
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2018 (English)In: Ethnography, ISSN 1466-1381, E-ISSN 1741-2714Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social media and instant messaging are fast becoming an integral part of contemporary life, and subsequently of ethnographic research. As ethnography is essentially a process defined by relations between people, this article investigates how online interaction influenced my relationships with the people I studied: Ukrainian volunteer battalions. Framed in a broader context of conflict ethnography, the resulting chatnography made access to informants tremendously easier, and allowed for remote data collection. Chatnography nevertheless exacerbated ethical challenges posed by study of armed conflict. The blending of offline and online also led to despatialization, and the blurring of personal and professional. This questions the traditional notion of the ‘field’, while more immediately threatening to limit my private life. While not a magic bullet, the convenience of chatnography means that it will be here for years to come. This article offers an attempt to investigate what this entails in practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
chatnography, conflict ethnography, digital ethnography, methodology, militias, social media, Ukraine, volunteer battalions, war
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357448DOI: 10.1177%2F1466138118781640OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-357448DiVA, id: diva2:1239385
Available from: 2018-08-16 Created: 2018-08-16 Last updated: 2018-11-14Bibliographically approved

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