Reflecting on Karen Barad’s (2003; 2007) agential realism and onto-epistemology, where the “thing” is entangled with the way in which “we” research it, I have found myself questioning how I might research my micro-ethnography and how/whether I should participate (as a ‘lurker‘ or otherwise). How might different kinds of participation affect ‘community’ and the ethical issues surrounding the study?
In my role as ‘open participant‘, having ‘access’ to read/listen/participate in, and feed into, the same activities/assignments as those studying the course through a degree, the binaries between ‘open’/’closed’, ‘insider’/’outsider’, ‘included’/’excluded’ appear blurred and problematic. Is access alone enough to be ‘included’?
Listening to Tim Ingold’s assertion that ‘we don’t make studies of people, we study with them and learn from them’, this week I submitted a radio bumper into the ‘ds106 flow’ alongside the work of students/open participants, with the potential of receiving “airtime” on ds106radio. Is this an example of the kind of entanglement Barad refers to?
Inspired by an article on live field notes, I wrote some field notes of my own, and began focusing my micro-ethnography on ds106radio and the interactions surrounding it…
I recently joined ds106 as an open participant, whilst conducting a very small scale micro-ethnographic study of ds106 as part of the Education and Digital Cultures (EDC) course (#mscedc).
I have been following along with week five of UMW Spring 2020 and was inspired while listening to ds106radio this week, and hearing everyone’s radio bumpers, to try my hand at the assignment.
It’s my first go at making a radio bumper, and I used Logic and its built-in software instruments, together with the default text-to-speech voice on my Mac (“Daniel”). Despite its very short length, I found it quite difficult to produce something with the right balance, focus and clarity. It is my first try anyhow, and I hope to improve my skills in future, so it’s good practice and I’m learning a lot!
In the meantime, I’ve been learning a little more about ethnography as part of the EDC course. Another thing that inspired me to take part in the radio bumper assignment during my micro-ethnographic study of ds106 was this podcast with anthropologist Tim Ingold. As he puts it:
‘With anthropology, the university in which we study is the world itself….in anthropology, we actually treat the world as a great big university. We don’t make studies of people, we study with them and learn from them.’
I’m certainly learning a lot from taking part in ds106, and from your assignments, and am looking forward to learning more as I explore and study with you further!