... Virtual Harbin thus, for example, rewrites anthropological and ethnographic methods in new ways to engage both multimedia-virtuality – where representations are at a physical and actual distance from the end-user – on the screen - focusing immersively on the little things, as well as on actual Harbin virtuality, drawing on a myriad of actual, Harbin experiences (e.g. of oneness in the pools) since 1972, to inform complementary methods.
ETHNOGRAPHY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
As method, I engage ethnographic processes as main, ongoing approaches to data gathering at both actual Harbin, and in virtual Harbin. Ethnography here is both an interpretive practice and a body of social scientific writings (Cerwonka and Malkki 2007). Ethnographic method also involves guiding questions aimed at a basic point of ethnography: gaining the world view of a group of people (Hall 1999?). Virtual ethnography here is the study of virtual worlds, and cyberspace, in relation to digital mediation, and conceptions of virtuality, employing participant observatin and field work, as method. Virtual ethnography, however, also involves the study of the virtual, including, here, that which is informed by language, communicative processes, semiotics, connotation and denotation and gesture, and now multimedia, involving virtuality's analysis. At Harbin, ethnography of actual and virtual Harbins involve examining those fabrics of life which emerge in relation to their warm waters, in this pools-centric interpretation of Harbin. In this reading of approaches to data-gathering and ethnography, digital 'pool play' is new in the discipline and practices of ethnography, and now virtual ethnography.
As method, anthropology involves approaches to the study of multiple aspects of the human experience as culture, which, for convenience's sake, is an umbrella term, here, for the methods of sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, paleontological approaches to human origins, as well as linguistics. ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/11/harbin-ethnography.html - November 16, 2010)