My preliminary proposal for my ethnographic or narrative research project

My preliminary proposal for my ethnographic or narrative research project

Digital storytelling is a movement that has been evolved from being socially aware of people stories around us. Though the main aim is not in how the story is produced but most importantly expressing and exchanging stories “made from the fragmentary, often painful, stuff of everyday life”(Couldry et al., 2015,p.2) Using the concept of a “story circle” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.2) Where the participants and the producer sit facing each other, focusing and listening to what each other has to say in order to produce fully committed stories. Which in words of Nick Couldry made this theory concrete within digital storytelling (Couldry et al., 2015,p.2). Digital storytelling allows us as stated by Lambert to “sort out new solutions, by reframing our diverse connections to the big story (cited in Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). Though there are rules to follow, firstly we must know how digital storytelling contexts and process of production become associated with certain practices and styles (Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). Secondly, how the outputs of digital storytelling practices are circulated and recirculated between various sites, and exchanged between various audiences and institutions (Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). Thirdly, we must acknowledge the long-term consequences of digital storytelling in particular when we included different types of people especially from particular locations (Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). Focusing on the consequences that the story may impact on the wider “social and cultural formations, even for democracy itself” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). This is where the term of digital “storycircle” captures all the above roles and levels (Couldry et al., 2015,p.3) by offering a sense of communities of practices as stated by Wenger in 1998 (cited by Couldry et al., 2015,p.3). Story digital storytelling can serve as a principle tool for enabling and deepening mutual recognition as explained by Honneth in 2007(cited by Couldry et al., 2015,p.5). By offering a useful ways to share different perspectives through the powerful tool of digital storytelling. Using the process of narrative exchange under digital conditions (Couldry et al., 2015,p.5).


The medium in which you choose to show your digital storytelling is not crucial, the storytelling elements can be images, film, blogs, tweets, webpages and weblinks as explained by Nick Couldry (2015,pp.5-6.). What matters the most is how it is interlinked and focuses on the practice of “working together to show each other how we live” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.6). Highlighting the important part of digital storytelling is that it has the ability to “bring multiple medias together” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.6). It’s important to use a methodology that is collaborative throughout the project adopting a collaborative action research methodology (Couldry et al., 2015,p.8) in Nick Couldry own research he took the approach of using interviews and meeting functions as a way to gather participants reflections about the research and receive feedback and suggestions to “collaboratively plan further action” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.9). They used the tools of twitter, and a website, online surveys on the perspectives of social and mobile media to develop their digital story (Couldry et al., 2015,p.9). Nick Couldry highlights technology found online such as Twitter as a means of digital storytelling creates a communication space, which allows a degree “of visibility and mutual awareness that is not achievable through face-to face- communication alone” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.9). Stating by working with a digital platform allows the researcher to work along side their partner to produce a digital story.


Choosing and identifying a story is significant, Couldry suggest choosing one based on attributes of space / time and then displaying them on a web-based graphic interface (Couldry et al., 2015,p.14). Displaying the narrative somewhere where the information and data collected can be easily presented accessed online for the participants and public (Couldry et al. , 2015,p.15) for example you-tube or a Facebook page. Couldry (2015,p.16) gives the example of using the function of Flicker to geocode photographic images of camps located in North Wales, Isle of Man and Yorkshire. By doing so they have created a timeline, a timeline that “pulled stories about camps separated in time and space into a common frame” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.16). Thus creating a digital storyline that is accessible and creating mutual “recognition across generations” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.16). Highlighting that collective stories do not “consist of a singular perspective but can be interpreted from multiple perspectives” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.17), exploring the relations between them.


Nick Couldry mentions an important regarding the notion of story telling that involves digital storytelling, claiming “that digital storycircles can deal not just accumulations of individuals stories, but, more subtly, with potential conflicts an tensions within sets of stores from different space times” (Couldry et al., 2015,p.18). Illustrating the storyteller voice is important to the story (Couldry et al., 2015,p.18), capturing the essence of the narrator and the unique character and the connection to the lived experience as mentioned by Lambert (2008)(cited by Couldry et al., 2015,p.18).

Reading this week text “Constructing a digital storycircle: digital infrastructure and mutual recognition” by Nick Couldry et al (2015) enlightened me into what I might consider to do for my ethnographic / narrative research digital story project. I want to follow a story through the use of photographs and interviews, thus enabling myself to create a story timeline. This will be displayed through either the media platform WordPress or a YouTube clip of my interviewee. The topic I’m considering for this project is the impact of media technology throughout the generations. Particularly the impact of  new media technologies and their use in our education, gathering different opinions from each generation. However this is just a rough idea and the story context has not yet to be fully established or chosen. If you have any advice for me let me know ,  however I will keep you posted on my progress.


As always, all the best

Chelsea x




Couldry, N, MacDonald, R, Stephansen, H, Clark, W, Dickens, L, & Fotopoulou, A 2015, ‘Constructing a digital storycircle: Digital infrastructure and mutual recognition’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 1-30.




Ethno -what ?, in other words people writing

Ethno -what ?, in other words people writing


From writing last week blog post it became apparent how television has impacted the lives of families in many similar ways. From reading a collection of blogs post found on the twitter fed for BCM240 common themes and patterns took shape. Particularly, evolving around the notion of nostalgia, childhood memories, socialness and the creation of family rituals. For me the creation of rituals is a topic that stood out, studying “why” and “what”, in regards to what families do while watching TV, if they do anything at all. This was especially interesting to research, particularly the stories of how just a common day object in which this generation takes for granted, made such an impact into a less technological world then today. In a way I guess we all just conducted our own collaborative ethnographic research. Which in the words of Luke Eric Lassister (2005) Ethnography is by definition, a collaborative research method for collecting qualitative data, describing it as a way of “working together for an intellectual effort” (Lassiter, 2005). A research methodology built upon social science known as Anthropology, to study, describe and interpret a culture (Hammersley, 2004), such as the photograph below.


(source: Kaleidoscope)

Ethnographers are guided by all ethical commitments by studying the meanings of behaviors, languages and the interactions of a culture group (Hammersley, 2004). Though the challenge has been set for modern day ethnographers to conduct studies that are on the bases of making relevant and more responsive choices based on their community concerns (Lassister, 2005). Secondly, Ethnographers have to actively collaborate and involve participants and co-researchers in all aspect of the research. This is where Lassiter (2005) suggest that as researchers engaging in ethnography we must emphasize greater collaboration with the participants who take part. Thus with last week blog post and during tutorials we all engaged collaboratively, whether that was done by listening and learning from what each other interviewees had to say. An important point in which Hammersley (2004) states the aim for ethnographic research is to learn from a member of a cultural group, rather than conducting a traditional form of study.

From my perspective this gave my father, my interviewee great joy and excitement for being part of my research. By participating and engaging with him during the interview, giving him a sense of purpose and enjoyment. A feeling that I particularly noticed was demonstrated throughout numerous blog posts last week. Highlighting Lassiter point to create a more thoughtful relationship with the participant, then the traditional research and writing process (Lassiter, 2005). Underlining the importance of creating research that is highly accessible to their audience, not just for Scholars but more importantly those who participate in the research (Cavanaugh, 2013).

Even with the potential benefits in which collaborative ethnography can present there is also concerns for its limitations. For instance by allowing the participants into the research process, as an ethnographer we are accepting the risk of losing control over our research project. Lassister (2005) illustrates the concern for misrepresentation of presented results, particularly the concern of showing multiple perceptions. Calling for all ethnographers to have a ethical relationship between researcher and participates, ensuring to protect those involved in the study (Lichtman, 2013,p.75)

Time can be a huge factor when conducting this method of research (Cavanaugh, 2013,p.4). Emphasizing the concern of conducting a research over a short period of time. Explaining that ethnographers aren’t receiving the right data to properly analyze the findings of a culture over that time period, as only the surface of the results are being reached. Meaning that reliably can also present to be an issue upon the finding and facts of the research report, an ever-growing ethical concern known as the Hawthorne effect. However, getting informed consent for an ethnographer can be a difficult process. Researchers need to pay particular attention to getting informed consent from those who might in some way not be fully able to appreciate what they agree to (Lichtman, 2013,p.75). Overall I believe the research methodology of collaborative ethnography, is an important factor to have in our society. It allows audiences and communities to understand the stories of different cultures in regards to how they live. Even if that step involves understanding how certain generation’s watches television. I would love to hear your thoughts on ethnography? Do you think the pros out way the cons? Leave a comment or tag me in your post would love to read your thoughts.


All the best,Chelsea x