The 6th international Rethinking Educational Ethnography conference focuses on epistemological and methodological transparency in designing and conducting ethnographic studies in virtual and physical spaces. It will be held in Klaipeda, Lithuania, July 1 – 2, 2016. The conference is organized by the University of Klaipeda, in partnership with the Alan Dreeben Research Center of the University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas, USA. It follows the tradition of collaboration with the European Educational Research Association (EERA) Network 19.
The sixth international conference builds on the traditions of the previous Rethinking Ethnography meetings in Boras, Helsinki, Porto, Barcelona, Napoli, and Copenhagen. As we expand the Ethnographic network to Lithuania and other countries, in which ethnography as a social-science research approach is relatively new, we seek to deepen our understandings of what constitutes ethnography and how we design, conduct, and present online, cyber, and local ethnographic work in transparent ways. In focusing on transparency of ethnographic epistemology, we seek to engage in dialogues about ways of studying cultural and social practices in diverse local, virtual, ICT-enabled or cross-national communities.
We invite ethnographers from various disciplinary backgrounds to explore how the phenomena they study and the research questions they pose lead them to construct particular ethnographic approaches and logics-of-inquiry. Questions guiding this year’s conference include: What counts as ethnography and/or ethnographic perspective in studying virtual or physical social groups and networks? How do we teach and engage new generations of scholars in ethnographic work in the digital age? What are the ways of collaborating with research participants online and face-to-face to gain the emic understandings? How do we (re)construct ethnographic accounts to reach diverse audiences? What challenges do we face and how do we overcome them as we design ethnographic studies in ever-changing contemporary social virtual and physical settings?