Methodology and Methods of Data Collection
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This chapter presents the methodological rationale for the empirical investigation presented in Part II. The core claim is that the analytical approach developed in the book requires a methodological focus on specific aspects of group dynamics, such as the inter-evaluative practices (methods) used by the members of a community to override heterogeneity and constitute consensus and social reality. Particular attention is given to three areas of social interactions within online bereavement communities of women after perinatal loss: how individual subjective accounts of the experience of perinatal loss are evaluated by other community members; how, because of this inter-evaluation dynamics, individuals modify their own accounts and align to the emerging group normative standards; which new linguistic categories emerge from the interactions and allow for the ontological grounding of—and thus legitimizing—the women’s feelings of loss and grief. It also details the methods of data sourcing, and the approach adopted to data analysis based on a digital ethnography guided by the methodological focus developed as an intrinsic structuralist position.