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Striking a balance… September 22, 2008

Posted by Sarah in reflections.

One of my very favorite blogs, one I’ve been reading for probably 18 months or so now, is also one of the blogs that I’m observing for this second phase of my dissertation.

And I find I’m reading it differently now.  Not that I’m analyzing the content as I read – I’ve always done that, because I honestly can’t read a personal blog WITHOUT doing a little analysis in my head.  No, I find myself reticent to comment, treading carefully in my new research role.  Whereas before I might have made a flip, suggestive joke, now I don’t.  Why?  Isn’t the point of participant observation to, you know, PARTICIPATE?

This is why it was definitely a good idea to not include anyone I actually know offline (or even have a significant online relationship with) in the ethnographic sample.

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