The Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) focuses on understanding a contemporary world where digital and mobile technologies are increasingly inextricable from the environments and relationships in which everyday life plays out. DERC excels in both academic scholarship and in our applied work with external partners from industry and other sectors.

DERC approaches this world and how we experience it through innovative, reflexive and ethical ethnographic approaches, developed through anthropology, media and cultural studies, design, arts and documentary practice and games research.

 

Our research is incisive, interventional and internationally leading. Going beyond the call of pure academia we combine academic scholarship with applied practice to produce research, analysis and dissemination projects that are innovative and based on ethnographic insights.

 

DERC partners and collaborates with a range of institutions in Australia and globally, including other universities, companies and other organisations. This includes collaborative research projects, conferences, symposia and workshops, and international visits, fellowships and publications.

DERC members are aligned into Labs to represent their research interests, DERC Labs include:

 

  • Data Ethnographies Lab
  • Design+Ethnography+Futures (D+E+F) Lab
  • Bio Inspired Digital Sensing-Lab (BIDS-Lab)
  • Digital Transformations Lab
  • Visual Impact
  • Migration and Digital Media Lab

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WHAT IS DIGITAL ETHNOGRAPHY?

Recognising the differential meanings and uses of the term ethnography across and between academic disciplines, DERC utilises a broad definition of ethnography that views ethnography as an approach for understanding the world that cannot be reduced to a single method. Through DERC, our aim is to engage in research and conversations that are committed to the following:

 

• transdisciplinary research that is inquiry-based;

• engagement with empirical research and/or materials;

• socially and historically contextualised analyses;

• comparison across local, national, regional and global frames.

DERC welcomes partnerships and collaborations with national and international centres with expertise in digital media and ethnography. Through research, workshops, talks and publications, we collectively seek to critically engage with and push the boundaries of ethnographic practice in, through and around digital media. To learn more about our perspectives on Digital Ethnography see our Introduction (Horst, Hjorth & Tacchi 2012) and articles by Sarah Pink and John Postill in the Special Issue of Media International Australia published in 2012.

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