Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Marble Canyon: In this actual-virtual Harbin comparison, Interviewing the same individual in both 'places,' Ethics

Harbin ethnography:

... Amount of time spent at virtual Harbin and what one does there will be very different from visiting the 'place' of actual Harbin, yet such parallels are important.

In this actual-virtual Harbin comparison, I haven't come to a situation in any of the virtual Harbins thus far, (e.g. in the OpenSim, virtual Harbin which was stolen, in the Tribe.com Harbin group, in various, online Watsu (School of Shiatsu and Massage) groups or lists, in the Facebook Harbin groups, on the Yahoo.com Harbin rideshare email list, where I've interviewed the same individual in both 'places,' one as avatar, yet I can envisioin this happening. Similarly, I can envision hypothetical students interviewing two different avatars, each with their own identities and social networks, operated by the same end user, (Boellstorff 2008:82). Similarly, I can imagine a small Watsu class at actual Harbin, all operating the same Watsu teacher-avatar, for pedagogical purposes, it would be right to treat the avatar as one identity. When an actual Harbin resident, using her or his spiritual name at actual Harbin, came into virtual Harbin and used their spiritual name for their avatar, it would be appropriate for me to treat them as separate identities, as well, exploring the similarities and differences, ethnographically, an the intent of this ethnography. In general, for the purposes of ethnographic ethics, I will treat identities as distinct, and seek consent for research, both actually and virtually. ...

(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2011/01/marble-canyon-in-this-actual-virtual.html - January 25, 2011)

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