Digitalising the Ethnographic Field in and Post Covid-19: How (a study of ) child rights activism in India moved online

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Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us all to adapt. For ethnographic area
studies, such adaptations take place both at the level of the researcher and
the researched. This essay reflects on how the study of an Indian child
rights advocacy network adapted to ‘going online’ as a consequence of the
pandemic and lockdown in India. Although the researcher could no longer
be physically present in the studied situations, it offered an opportunity to
combine ‘traditional’ and digital ethnography to study new types of interactions. In the case explored here, activists’ knowledge sharing and direct
advocacy with authorities moved to Zoom webinars, and NGO workers’
communication with the village-based ‘field’ took place on WhatsApp
groups. The essay thus documents a rapidly changing child rights advocacy landscape in India, as well as reflects upon methodological challenges
and opportunities when it comes to both studying online activism and
studying activism while online.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalChakra: tidskrift för indiska religioner
Volume2020 (Special Issue)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes