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OxDEG: The performance of (many) selves in everyday digital life: immersive cohabitation and self-portraiture as a viable ethnographic method

With Dr Joshua Bluteau
8 Feb 2021
With Dr Joshua Bluteau

Using Instagram as a fieldsite is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure, posing unique challenges to the anthropologist’s method and practice. This paper will examine how self-portraiture and high intensity interaction with the digital platform, through observing, learning and doing as one’s informants do can resituate the digital field, not as an adjunct to the offline but as a landscape in its own right. With this established, Bluteau draws vignettes from fieldwork conducted with sartorially inclined men on Instagram to suggest how traditional ethnographic methods can be reframed, remoulded and refocused to engage anthropologically with a changing digital landscape.

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