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Negotiating the Researcher: Interstitial, Appropriated, and Digital Identities in Media Production Ethnography

Author:

Brian Ekdale

University of Iowa
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Abstract

While all people form, exhibit, and use multiple identities, the hybridity of identity plays an integral role in the production of ethnographic knowledge. This article explores three critical tensions concerning researcher identity in media production ethnographies. First, I argue ethnographer identity is interstitial, situated at the margins of contesting and, at times, divergent selves. Second, while researchers privilege certain selves and favor particular agendas, others can appropriate and promote certain aspects of the researcher’s identity to serve strategic purposes. Finally, the rise of digital and social media has complicated traditional notions of identity management and ‘the field’ and provides new opportunities for participants to study the researcher. Thus, while acts of identity are exertions of power, that power can be harnessed and enacted by both researchers and participants.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.171
How to Cite: Ekdale, B., (2013). Negotiating the Researcher: Interstitial, Appropriated, and Digital Identities in Media Production Ethnography. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 9(3), pp.7–26. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.171
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Published on 01 Dec 2013.
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