Repurposing Ethnography

The paper I want to focus on for repurposing was an assignment for my cultural anthropology class freshman year. The paper was an 8 page long ethnography Рan anthropological term that basically amounts to a study of some group or culture. Think of it as a content analysis of a group. The researcher is supposed to, through direct contact, learn about and explore the group or culture in question. The group I chose was an online community called Nerdfighteria that was formed around the video blogs of two men РJohn and Hank Green. Their Youtube project started out as one year of communication between them solely through these video blogs. They slowly amassed a following  and this following came to be called Nerdfighters. I wanted to choose the group for the ethnography assignment because I was a Nerdfighter and wanted to explore the community and the experience more deeply.

I chose this paper to repurpose because, to be honest, I wasn’t really happy with the way it turned out. I think it could have been a lot more interesting and engaging if it were formatted in a different way. The ethnography turned out more like a research paper, and I would have been happy just writing a more informal and informational paper. One specific thing to change would definitely be to get rid of the concrete sections (hypothesis, data, reactions, etc.) and to reformat the paper entirely in a more informal/less scientific/academic way. I’m honestly not sure what genre I could change it into, maybe an informational news article or something like that. It’s something I have to keep thinking about, but I definitely want it to have a less academic feel.

Sarah Rybak

I'm a junior Comm major with special interests in gender, gaming, and new media in terms of how people interact through it with each other.

3 thoughts to “Repurposing Ethnography”

  1. If you get rid of the more concrete sections (hypothesis, data, reactions, etc.) are you going to hamper your ability to do further research on this topic?

    Is removing the more concrete sections really repurposing or is it just editing?

  2. I remember during Anthro 101 when I had to write an essay about an ethnography we read. It sounds awesome that you are attempting to write one yourself! It sounds like you are yet to have found an ideal genre to present this more casual, informal vantage point of the Nerdfighteria. I like your idea of having your new writing in the form of an informational news article. I would look into different genres like OpEd pieces or different forms that can offer a casual and more real voice, without sacrificing the integrity of your research.

    Also, try to really immerse yourself of this youtube content, as if you were actually present as an ethnographer. I think that would create a more personal and real feel to the piece. Looking forward to it!

  3. I like the topic you chose. I like that you want to make it more informal because then you could put more of your voice into it as a Nerdfighterian. You could possibly write about the community from how you experience it but still have it inform us about what it is and what it is about.

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