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.
|Title of host publication
|Subtitle of host publication
|Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications
|Number of pages
|Published - 31 Jan 2014