(第 4 期)   第二卷第二期   2008 年 6 月 1 日出刊

精進網路研究方法-網路民族誌

Advances in Internet Research Methods-Netnography

本文關鍵字:網路民族誌線上研究方法線下研究方法NetnographyOnline MethodsOffline Methods

本文摘要

「網路民族誌」(Netnography)在西方學術被使用於網路研究已有十幾年的歷史,相關研究顯示,此方法允許研究者更進一步捕捉複雜的網路文化與社會現象(Kozinets, 1998, 2001, 2002)。就理論而言,當一位網路民族誌的研究員既簡單又輕鬆,因為研究員只需要坐在電腦前下載、分析被研究者的網路言論即可。然而,Reid (1995)批評,當研究員事後再分析網路社群或討論室裡人與人之間的互動與言談,已經失去民族誌(ethnography)研究的精髓。其中最被質疑的,包括研究員無法確切查證網路被研究者的真實身份(如:性別、年齡、職業等),及研究員無法即時深入與被研究者產生密切的互動,並更進一步追查與議題相關的訊息。因此,Hine (2000)、Marvin (1995)和Paccagnella (1997)等多位學者大力提倡與強調,在網路上必須使用有別於民族誌的研究方法,以便克服研究者只是在網路上當一位潛水伕的觀察者而已。Kozinets (1998)提出修正「網路民族誌」的新方向:即綜合傳統的民族誌研究法(如:研究員帶著筆與紙,寫下所觀察與面對面訪談的資料)和新的線上研究方法(如:研究員本身參與線上觀察與討論、e-mail訪問、線上即時訪談),進而成為一個適合的網路精進研究法。本文主要針對近十幾年被西方學術界推崇的精進網路研究方法-「網路民族誌」,作概念與發展脈絡的介紹,進一步以筆者實際操作之網路研究個案闡述經驗,並提出反思與建議,期盼為臺灣未來的相關研究擴充研究面向。

In Western academic field, Netnography has emerged as a methodology for the Internet within the past decade. It allows researchers to grasp the in-depth accounts of the complex phenomena of Internet cultural and social values (Kozinets, 1998, 2001, 2002). Netnography is also called "virtual ethnography" (Hine, 2000). Theoretically, as a netnographer sits at a desk in an office to download and analyze texts from the Internet, monitoring the behavior of online participants becomes easier. However, Reid (1995) argues that printouts from virtual community interactions lose their ethnographic meanings when read after the event. There are two main reasons to debate that (1) identities (e.g., gender, age or occupation, etc.) of online participants cannot be confirmed by researchers, and (2) researchers cannot immediately communicate or discuss with online participants about relevant issues. Hence, Hine (2000), Marvin (1995) and Paccagnella (1997) strongly promote and emphasize that studies on the Internet conduct different ethnographic methods to make a netnographer not to act a "lurker" online. Meanwhile, Kozinets (1998) suggests that Nethnography, which combines traditional ethnographic methods (e.g., traveling, paper-and-pencil notes and face-to-face interviews) with new online methods (e.g., participant-observations online, e-mail exchanges and online immediately interviews), is superior in utilizing Internet research. This article attempts to introduce the concept and development of Netnography, elucidate the author's practical Internet research experience and further provide reflections and suggestions, looking forward to seeing the other researchers to abound in this field.

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