Blogs in Social Research

Living reference work entry

Abstract

Blogs are the quintessential early twenty-first century text blurring the boundary between private and public. In this chapter, we approach blogs as contemporary “documents of life” and offer our reflections on what blogs can offer social researchers based on our own research experiences. Blogs offer rich first-person textual accounts of the everyday, but there are practical, methodological, and ethical issues involved in doing blog research. These include sampling, collecting, and analyzing blog data; issues of representation; and authenticity; whether blogs should be considered private or public, and if the people who create them are subjects or authors. The chapter also critically reflects on the methodological and ethical implications of the different decisions we made in our own research projects. We conclude that embracing new confessional technologies like blogs can provide a powerful addition to the qualitative researcher’s toolkit and enable innovative research into the nature of contemporary selves, identities, and relationships.

Keywords

Blogs Documents Online ethics Online methods Qualitative research 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  2. 2.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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