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Robert V. Kozinets Netnography | A Good Woman Speaking Tolerably

A Good Woman Speaking Tolerably


MUSINGS FROM A HUMBLE RHETORICIAN

Robert V. Kozinets Netnography


30 MAR Kozinets, Robert V. Netnography: Doing Ethnographic Research Online. Los Angeles: Sage, 2010. Print. Summary: Key Terms: netnography a specialized form of ethnography adapted to the unique computer-mediated contingencies of todays social worlds (1). virtual communities (as defined by Howard Rheingold) social aggregations that emerge from the net when enough people carry onpublic discussions long enough with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace (8). community membership its boundaries are somewhat distinct, but must be understood in terms of self-identification as a member, repeat contact, reciprocal familiarity, shared knowledge of some rituals and customs, some sense of obligation, and participation (10). culture - the webs of significance in which man is suspended (11). cyberculture (as defined by Pierre Levy) the set of technologies (material and intellectual), practices, attitudes, modes of thought, and values that developed along with the growth of cyberspace (11). technological determinism an impression that technology is shaping our culture and changing our communities (21-22). weak ties networks in which the participants do not have close relationships characterized by the exchange of lots of information or the presence of intimate personal friendships (26). communities of practice groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. lurker the active observer who learns about a site through initially watching and reading (34). newbie a neo or neophyte, a new member who is using the community to learn about the core consumption activity or to reach out and build social relationships (34). maker and individual who is an active builder of online communities and their related social spaces (34). interactor and individual who reaches into the community from other communities that are highly engaged with the consumption activity, usually from in-person venues, or those that are primarily in-person with only peripheral use of CMC to keep members connected (34). networker an individual who will reach into a particular online community in order to build social ties and interact with members of that other community (34).
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Robert V. Kozinets Netnography | A Good Woman Speaking Tolerably

cruising communities online gatherings that are known for their weaker social relationships and the low centrality of any particular kind of consumption activity (35). bonding communities online locations that are known to have and create very strong social ties between members, resulting in deep and long-lasting relationships, but whose members are not focused on a shared or unifying consumption behavior (35-36). geeking communities online gatherings where the sharing of information, news, stories, and techniques about a particular activity is the communitys raison detre (36). building communities online gatherings that offer botha strong sense of community as well as detailed information and intelligence about a central, unifying interest and activity (36). social network analysis an analytical method that focuses on the structures and patterns of relationships between and among social actors in a network (49). network a set of actors connected by a set of relational ties (49). ego-centered network study a set of people (selected on the basis of some sampling criteria) are asked questions to generate a list of people (alters) who are the members of their personal social network (51). whole network approach considers an entire social network based on some particular research definition of the boundaries of that network[and is] interested in the identification of the different connections between members of particular groups (51). strong ties include combinations of intimacy, self-disclosure, provision of reciprocal services, frequent contact, and kinship, as between close friends or colleagues (52). weak tie one that is sporadic or irregular, and has little emotional connection (52). degree centrality looks at the most popular active actors in a network. It focuses on measuring how many other actors a particular actor is in direct contact with (52). eigenvector centrality measures how much a node is connected to other nodes that are also tightly connected to one another. [It] is more concerned with power and influence than popularity (52). betweenness centrality measures an actors sphere of influence. The more influence an actor has over the flow of information, the more power and control that actor can potentially yield (52). closeness centrality looks at reach and reachability instead of power or popularity (52). alteration the nature of the interaction is alteredboth constrained and liberatedby the specific nature and rules of the technological medium in which it is carried (68). anonymity - the removal of a users physical presence confers online actors a new sense of identity flexibility (70). accessibility once someone clears the financial and technical hurdles required for aptitude at computer-mediated searching and communication, an extremely wide array of social interactions is made accessible to them (70). archiving online communication has more permanence than words said aloud, the term persistent world has been coined to refer to the persistence of virtual worlds online, and changes made to them by users, even after a user has exited the site or software program (71). Important Quotes: online social experiences are significantly different from face-to-face social experiences, and the experience of ethnographically studying them is meaningfully different (5). people were using the Internet to become more involved with groups to which they already belonged, to deepen their ties to local communities, as well as to find new communities to join and partake in and to spur connections with strangers and people whose racial, ethnic, generational or economic backgrounds were different from their own (13).
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Robert V. Kozinets Netnography | A Good Woman Speaking Tolerably

As more people use the Internet, they use it as a highly sophisticated communications device that enables and empowers the formation of these communities. These communities, like the Internet itself, are being found by many to be indispensable. They are becoming places of belonging, information, and emotional support that people cannot do without (15). Online communities are communities; there is no room for debate about this topic anymore. They teach us about real languages, real meanings, real causes, real cultures. These social groups have a real existence for their participants, and thus have consequential effects on many aspects of behavior (15). Constance Penley and Andrew Ross: Technologies are not repressively foisted upon passive populations, any more than the power to realize their repressive potential is in the hands of a conspiring few. They are developed at any one time and place in accord with a complex set of existing rules or rational procedures, institutional histories, technical possibilities, and, last, but not least, popular desires (22). Technology constantly shapes and reshapes our bodies, our places, and our identities, and is shaped to our needs as well (22). Susan J Clerc: the participants in online communities communicate social information and create and codify group-specific meanings, socially negotiate group-specific identities, form relationships which span from the playfully antagonistic to the deeply romantic and which move between the network and face-to-face interaction, and create norms which serve to organize interaction and to maintain desirable social climates (24). over time and with increasingly frequent communications, the sharing of personal identity information and clarification of power relations and new social norms transpires in the online community that social and cultural information permeates every exchange, effecting a type of a gravitational pull that causes every exchange to become coloured with emotional, affiliative, and meaning-rich elements (28). Ethnographies of online communities and cultures are informing us about how these online formations affect notions of self, how they express the postmodern condition, and how they simultaneously liberate and constrainThey reveal how our human relationships, our work relationships and our structures of power are changing. they reveal tensions between commercial orientations and power structures online and the communal forms that they promote. They tell us about the promotion of cultural transformation, and the creation of change agents (36-37). Rene Lysloff: When we go online, the computer extends our identity into a virtual world of disembodied presence, and at the same time, it also incites us to take on other identities. We lurk in, or engage with, on-line lists and usenet groups that enable different versions of ourselves to emerge dialogically, The computer, in this way, allows for a new kind of performativity, an actualization of multiple and perhaps idealized selves through text and image (37). qualitative research is useful for exploring and understanding meanings, whereas quantitative research is used for testing theories by examining the relationships between measurable variables (42). To do an ethnography means to undertake an immersive, prolonged engagement with the members of a culture or community, followed by an attempt to understand and convey their reality through thick, detailed, nuanced, historically-curious and culturally-grounded interpretation and deep description of a social world that is familiar to its participants but strange to outsiders (60). Key netnography questions: Who are the most active participants? Who seem to be the leaders? What are some of the most popular topics? What is the history of the group? Have
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Robert V. Kozinets Netnography | A Good Woman Speaking Tolerably

there been major conflicts in the past? What other groups are its members connected to? What can you tell about the characteristics (demographics, interests, opinions, values) of the message posters and commenters? What are some of the concepts and precepts they hold dear? What sort of specialized language, if any, is the community using? Do they have any particular rituals or activities?What are some of their common practices? (90). Discussion: About these ads Leave a comment (http://en.wordpress.com/about-these-ads/) Posted by crcaton on March 30, 2012 in Digital Writing Tags: ethnography, methodology, netnography, online communities, research

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