... In this this actual / virtual Harbin book, anthropology is the umbrella of understanding the human in the Harbin warm pool when it's raining, where ethnography is the participant observation there, with writing and virtual world building creation.
Participant observation, in the context of such a comparison as this actual / virtual Harbin ethnography, makes possible generative, new approaches to gathering data about sociocultural and communicative interaction, and important aspects of Harbin's culture. Participant observation is also a defining methodology for ethnography, and is an important and central methodology in the broad discipline of anthropology. The emergence of interactive, virtual worlds makes possible new readings of social context, now in 'place-based,' comparative ways, in addition to examining symbolic and conscious products of Harbin's culture such as, for example, texts, dances, codes of law, Watsu, and 'now' in the pools, and in multimedia virtual worlds. In the milieu of the Harbin pools, participant observation is particularly enjoyable.
While participant observation engages the 'present' in all of its unfolding complexity in any place or milieu, it is not only an intentionally oxymoronic term (Boellstorff 2008:71), it is also imprecise, in a scientific sense, as a method. ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/12/sukau-participant-observation-actual.html - December 7, 2010)