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Goldsmiths - University of London

Researching sensitive issues online: implications of a hybrid insider/outsider position in a retrospective ethnographic study

Paechter, Carrie F.. 2013. Researching sensitive issues online: implications of a hybrid insider/outsider position in a retrospective ethnographic study. Qualitative Research, 13(1), pp. 71-86. ISSN 1468-7941 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article is concerned with methodological issues arising from a retrospective partially insider study of a divorce support website. I argue that, while we need to conduct detailed retrospective studies into the development of online communities, such studies bring methodological challenges, due to their retrospective nature, the potential size of the data set, and the problems of dealing with past manifestations of sites that continue to function. After an introduction to online and offline ethnography and insider/outsider researcher positioning, I discuss my hybrid insider/outsider status with respect to the research site. I focus in particular on researcher positioning, field entry and delimitation, public/private boundaries, ethical issues, and questions of time with respect to carrying out retrospective online studies while maintaining an ongoing real-time engagement with a research site.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):

10.1177/1468794112446107

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies
Research Office > REF2014

Dates:

DateEvent
February 2013Published

Item ID:

6055

Date Deposited:

20 Nov 2012 22:08

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 09:38

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/6055

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