Hybrid Ethnography: Access, Positioning, and Data Assembly

Ruo-Fan Liu, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Our lives have transformed into a blended world of digital and physical realms. While scholars have addressed the differences between online and offline ethnography, less research has investigated how online and offline ethnographies combine in a hybrid model. Drawing upon Small’s typology of mixed methods, I propose three hybrid models combining the two: concurrent design, sequential design, and nested design. I then demonstrate how a sequential design was initiated through my one-year ethnographic study, moving from the field as separated sites to multiple connected sites, from positions as given to positions as chosen, and through online and offline data triangulation to validate the researcher’s interpretations and explanations. I conclude that a sequentially hybrid ethnography can provide a flexible transition to navigate the post-pandemic era.

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 Presented in Session 211. Theory and Methods in the Study of Culture