Digital Ethnography in Domestic Spaces
INSTRUCTORS: Jenny Kennedy & Rowan Wilken (RMIT University)
SCHEDULE: This tutorial has one required session, and it is offered twice:
4A is ideal for attendees in the Americas, E+SE Asia, AU, NZ
Mon, Oct 19, 3–6:00 pm San Francisco = 7:00 pm São Paulo = Tues, Oct 20, 9:00 am Melbourne / convert time zone
4B is ideal for attendees in the Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, AU, NZ
Wed, Oct 21, 6–9:00 pm Melbourne / 4:00 pm Tokyo / 12:30 pm New Delhi / 9:00 Johannesberg / 8:00 am London / convert time zone
*Registration is closed
This tutorial will explore what it means to do research in people’s homes through digital methods. You will learn how to utilise participant’s existing digital skills and materials to undertake ethnographic research on and in their home environment, and develop a greater awareness of how specific contexts, such as geographical and socio-economic circumstances, impact the research process.
In the first part of the tutorial, the instructors will identify some of the contexts that impact domestic ethnographic research through case studies of prior and ongoing industry-based projects. This pre-recorded presentation will be available to participants on demand.
In the second part, participants will gather online to discuss and extend the concepts in the presentations, and engage in a hands-on exercise designed to dive deeper into issues of socio-economic variations, ethics, and participation. We will assuming personas of research participants with digital inclusion barriers (as identified in the presentation) to better understand how the tools at your participant’s disposal might impact ethnographic data collection.
In the final part of the workshop, we will collaborate to discuss how understanding of domestic contexts might frame our research design and specific methods, and consider ways for enhancing the collaborative and participatory process of data collection in the domestic space.
Key learning outcomes:
- principles for supporting the ‘messiness’ of ethnographic research in the home
- identifying and working with different socio-economic contexts
- appropriate selection of tools
- common issues and problem-solving
- illustration of key concepts through case studies of ethnographic research in the home
No prior knowledge is required. All participants should bring a smartphone and laptop or tablet to the workshop.
Jenny Kennedy is a Research Fellow in Media and Communication at RMIT specialising in research on digital inclusion, and AI and automation in home environments. She holds a number of active grants in these areas, including an Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA award to investigate the lived experience of digital exclusion for low-income households, and as an associate investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society. Her recent publications include Digital Domesticity: Media Ecology, Materiality, and Home Life (Oxford University Press) and The Smart Wife: Why Siri, Alexa, and Other Smart Home Devices Need a Feminist Reboot (MIT Press).
Rowan Wilken is Associate Professor in Media and Communication and Principal Research Fellow in the Digital Ethnography Research Centre at RMIT University. He is also an associate investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society. His recent publications include Digital Domesticity: Media Ecology, Materiality, and Home Life (Oxford University Press), Automating Vision: The Social Impact of the New Camera Consciousness (Routledge), and Cultural Economies of Locative Media (Oxford University Press).