The performance of (many) selves in everyday digital life: immersive cohabitation and self-portraiture as a viable ethnographic method

  • Joshua Bluteau (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talkResearch


Invited by Professor David Zeitlyn to present a seminar paper at OxDEG (The Oxford Digital Ethnography Group), held at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, UK.

Abstract: Using Instagram as a fieldsite is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure, posing unique challenges to the anthropologist’s method and practice. This paper will examine how self-portraiture and high intensity interaction with the digital platform, through observing, learning and doing as one’s informants do can resituate the digital field, not as an adjunct to the offline but as a landscape in its own right. With this established, vignettes will be drawn from fieldwork conducted with sartorially inclined men on Instagram to suggest how traditional ethnographic methods can be reframed, remoulded and refocused to engage anthropologically with a changing digital landscape.
Period11 Mar 2020
Held atOxDEG (The Oxford Digital Ethnography Group), Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford , United Kingdom


  • digital ethnography
  • digital anthropology
  • anthropology
  • Instagram
  • Social Media
  • Ethnography
  • Methodology
  • Digital Media
  • Digital Worlds
  • Selfie
  • self portraiture