People - space - technology: An ethnographic approach

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Date
2019-03-02
Authors
Menezes, Marluci
Arvanitidis, Paschalis
Kenna, Therese
Ivanova-Radovanova, Petja
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Springer Nature Switzerland AG
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Abstract
CyberParks aims at advancing knowledge on the relationship between information and communication technologies and the socially sustainable production and usage of public open spaces. Such research necessitates a solid methodological base. Urban ethnography brings together a number of perspectives and approaches to deal with cultural and social aspects of urban life, and as such it is able to provide an integrated methodological framework for the study of technology-public space relationship. The ethnographic approach means, by definition, an in-depth, micro-scale look at the phenomena under concern. However, the technological dimension makes the relationship between people and space more complex. This is not simply because an additional layer of analysis is added; it comes as a result of the emergence of multiple connections between the real and the virtual. From an ethnographic perspective, this requires the researcher to capture, explore and understand the cyber-social phenomena and dynamics in a multifaceted, hybrid, triangulated and cross-referenced way. This makes ethnographic research much more complicated but more interesting as well. The current chapter attempts to outline such an analytical framework to guide empirical research on the issues. This framework draws on the public space literature and adds the technological dimension brought in by the CyberParks project. We argue that this enriches the ethnographic approach providing a more integrated framework for the analysis of the relationship between people, space and technology.
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Keywords
Ethnographic perspective , Methodological framework , Micro-scale , Social hybrid dynamics , Cyber phenomena
Citation
Menezes, M., Arvanitidis, P., Kenna, T. and Ivanova-Radovanova, P. (2019) 'People - space - technology: An ethnographic approach', in Smaniotto Costa, C., Šuklje Erjavec, I., Kenna, T., de Lange, M., Ioannidis, K., Maksymiuk, G. and de Waal, M. (eds.) CyberParks: The Interface Between People, Places and Technology. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11380, Springer, Cham, pp. 76-86. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-13417-4_7