New social media have become indispensable to people all over the world as platforms for communication, with Facebook being the most popular. Hence, platforms such as Facebook are also becoming crucial tools for ethnographers because much social life now exists ‘online’. What types of field relations stem from such social media-driven ethnography? And what kinds of data do these relations present to the ethnographer? These questions must be considered in order to understand the challenges Facebook and other social media pose to ethnographic methodology. This article focuses on how Facebook may play an important role even in ethnographic work concerned with questions other than how Facebook works as a social medium. Most importantly it allows the ethnographer to keep up-to-date with the field. I argue that ethnography is already in possession of the methodological tools critically to assess the validity and value of data gathered or produced via Facebook including issues such as authenticity which are also pertinent to digital ethnography.
|Anthropological Forum - A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Sociology
|Published - 2016