...As beneficial, ethical, ethnographic practice, I hope to extend this in multiply ways in the actual / virtual Harbin comparison.
CLAIMS AND REFLEXIVITY
Knowledge in this ethnography is situated in actual and virtual Harbin. Anthropological situated knowledge in virtual 'places,' like virtual Harbin complements a long trajectory of ethnography, drawing significantly on field work. Situated knowledge here involves interweaving narratives relating both actual and virtual Harbins at a specific time in history. Field work, or 'pool play' in actual and virtual Harbins' cases, to re-re-coin a central anthropological method, has virtual, watery qualities, and involves much time in the waters. While actual Harbin has changed a lot since 1972, when this anthropology's focus begins, it is the continuities since that time, particularly the pools-centric hippy ethos there, that further defines this ethnography's fluid situatedness; the pools, the main lodge, and the main guest buildings remain the same since 1972. And while virtual Harbin already has many braids in its woven narratives unfolding, an actual, virtual Harbin of the qualities of other Second life simulations, has not yet emerged.
The purpose of the methods I engage in this actual / virtual, Harbin, ethnographic comparison facilitate learning about 1) actual Harbin, 2) generating a virtual Harbin as ethnographic field site, 3) learning about virtual Harbin , and 4) examining qualities of the 'virtual' from these comparisons. ...
(January 31, 2011)