Ethnography: My Media Niche

Ethnography can be described as the process of doing research which relies upon “researchers immersing themselves in a group or community for an extended period of time, using the knowledge that cultural members share with them to account for the observed processes and patterns of human activity” (Daymon and Holloway, 2011).

Ethnographers observe, ask questions, write, record, think and reflect in order to evaluate what they have discovered and understand the perspectives, attitudes, beliefs and ideas of those they have studied.

When thinking of my media niche, I definitely knew I wanted to focus on Podcasts. In an article written by Lundstrom and Poletti Lundstrom (2020), they suggest that podcasts are “rather ‘complex multimodal texts’, distinguishable from traditional radio due to the ‘hyper-intimacy’ of close and active listening to people from one’s own community or specific sphere of interest.” When reading this statement, a podcast I listen to every week since I came across it at the beginning of last year was the Bobo and Flex podcast.

Via the @boboandflex Instagram Page

The Bobo and Flex podcast features two women who live in 2 different cities. Bobo is based in New York City and Flex is based in Sydney. The podcast is is mainly based on topics around lifestyle, current events/ issues, a little bit of everything really. The podcast really encourages critical thinking, various perspectives and to have those tough conversations.

As stated by Daymon and Holloway (2011) “ethnographic research is the investigation of virtual communities such as those that emerge via the internet”.Since first listening to the podcast, I have come to notice a very large online community of people have formed due to their love of the podcast and how it provokes a lot of conversation. Usually after every episode, conversations and the perspective between listeners are formed immediately which therefore creates more people to join in and add in their perspectives/ thoughts/ ideas. I want to be able to further explore the community that has formed, how they interact and engage with each other when they are having discussions about certain topics that were mentioned during the podcast episode.

References

Daymon Christine and Holloway Immy (2011) ‘Ethnography’, Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications. Routledge: New York.

Lundström, Markus and Lundström, Tomas Poletti (2020) ‘Podcast ethnography’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, online first issue. FileNot completed: Lundström, Markus and Lundström, Tomas Poletti (2020) ‘Podcast ethnography’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, online first issue. . Select to mark as complete.

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