Netnography: An assessment of a novel research approach and its underlying philosophical assumptions

Guido Lang, Stanislav Mamonov, Karl R. Lang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The advent of the Internet has facilitated many new forms of communication and thus has laid the foundation for new forms of interaction and social organization. The challenges of gaining insight into the social processes that occur in these newly emerging digital spaces require the development of new research approaches and methodologies. Netnography, or Internet ethnography, is one such example. It focuses on gaining cultural insights from virtual community environments and was originally developed for consumer research in the field of marketing, but has since been used in a number of other fields, including urban planning. This chapter examines the philosophical assumptions and specific methods of netnography as a newly emerging research approach. Findings from a qualitative analysis of ten cases of published netnography studies reveal differences in both philosophical assumptions and uses as a research methodology, including the subject of research - community - and the role of the researcher. The chapter closes with some recommendations and a call for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOnline Research Methods in Urban and Planning Studies
Subtitle of host publicationDesign and Outcomes
PublisherIGI Global
Pages233-248
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781466600744
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2012

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