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Using Facebook as a Research Site and Research Tool

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By: Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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Abstract

This project explored the everyday use of the social network site Facebook by first-year undergraduate students in their transition to university. I did this by using a longitudinal study over one academic year. A connective ethnographic approach was used, which involved being with and observing the student participants on Facebook and face-to-face, within the university environment. Participant observation, field notes, screenshots of Facebook, questionnaires, interviews and focus groups were the main methods of data collection. Data were analysed using content analysis and based upon themes from literature and emerging themes from the data. The findings were presented as a set of six ethnographic stories, which were written based on data from the six main ethnographic participants. The project explored Facebook as a research field site and as a research tool.

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