Virtual Methods: Issues in Social Research on the Internet

Virtual Methods: Issues in Social Research on the Internet

By: Christine Hine (editor)Paperback

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Social researchers can hardly afford to ignore the Internet, as it has become an intrinsic part of everyday life. This new site of social interactions is begging to be researched and explored. At the same time it can be a moral minefield and a quality control nightmare even for researchers skilled in established methods. Virtual Methods offers a detailed exploration of the problems and opportunities surrounding Internet-based research. Can offline and online observations be combined? Are online interviews able to produce high quality data? How does a researcher sort through the vast mass of material available? From hyperlink analysis to the sex industry online, case studies sensitively highlight the difficulties researchers face, point out the opportunities to be seized, and offer practical solutions. Virtual Methods provides concrete advice for all stages of the research process. Anyone planning a research project involving the Internet will find this book an essential guide.

About Author

Christine Hine is Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey. She is the author of Virtual Ethnography (2000, Sage).


1. Virtual methods and the sociology of cyber-social-scientific knowledge Christine Hine, University of Surrey Part 1 Research Relationships and Online Relationships Introduction Christine Hine, University of Surrey 2. Internet behaviour and the design of virtual methods Adam Joinson, The Open University, UK 3. Online interviewing and the research relationship Jolle Kivits, London School of Economics and Political Science 4. From online to offline and back: moving from online to offline relationships with research informants Shani Orgad, London School of Economics and Political Svience 5. Researching the online sex work community Teela Sanders, University of Leeds 6. Ethnographic presence in a nebulous setting Jason Rutter, University of Manchester Gregory W. H. Smith, University of Salford 7. Centring the links: understanding cybernetic patterns of co-production, circulation and consumption Maximilian C. Forte, University College of Cape Breton Part II Research Sites and Strategies Introduction Christine Hine, University of Surrey 8. The role of maps in virtual research methods Martin Dodge, University College London 9. New connections, familiar settings: issues in the ethnographic study of new media use at home Hugh Mackay, The Open University, UK 10. Doing anthropology in cyberspace: fieldwork boundaries and social environments Mario J.L. Guimares Jr., Brunel University 11. Web sphere analysis: an approach to studying online action Steven M. Schneider, SUNY Institute of Technology Kirsten A. Foot, University of Washington, USA 12. The network approach to Web hyperlink research and its utility for science communication Han Woo Park, YeungNam University, S. Korea Mike Thelwall, University of Wolverhampton 13. Sociable hyperlinks: an ethnographic approach to connectivity Anne Beaulieu, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science, Amsterdam 14. Epilogue: methodological concerns and innovations in Internet research Nicholas Jankowski, University of Nijmegen Martine van Selm, University of Nijmegen

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781845200855
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 256
  • ID: 9781845200855
  • weight: 399
  • ISBN10: 1845200853

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