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Social media in ethnographic research: critical reflections on using WeChat in researching Chinese outbound tourists

Citation

Ma, Yue and Cai, W, Social media in ethnographic research: critical reflections on using WeChat in researching Chinese outbound tourists, Current Issues in Tourism pp. 1-13. ISSN 1368-3500 (2023) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1080/13683500.2023.2175203

Abstract

This methodology paper aims to offer useful guidelines for adopting social media in ethnography by reflecting on the two authorsí fieldwork experiences of using WeChat to investigate Chinese outbound tourists. The paper suggests social media as an effective tool to support data collection and analysis in ethnographic studies. Particularly, it helps to establish rapport with informants, collects various forms of data, assists in gaining a holistic understanding of the travel experience, makes good use of the fragmented time of participants to collect data, and improves the researcherís wellbeing and effectiveness during fieldwork. In addition, the paper highlights the importance of reflecting on the embedded culture while adopting social media in ethnographic fieldwork. Barriers and challenges to using social media in ethnographic fieldwork are also discussed. We propose six recommendations and suggestions for researchers who may consider using social media in ethnography.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:WeChat, qualitative research, mobile ethnography, social media, reflexivity, Chinese outbound tourists
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Tourism
Research Field:Tourism management
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Health status (incl. wellbeing)
UTAS Author:Ma, Yue (Dr Yue Ma)
ID Code:155320
Year Published:2023
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Marketing
Deposited On:2023-02-10
Last Modified:2023-02-13
Downloads:0

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