Florea [Abstract]

Narrative online and offline spaces. Field notes from the becoming of an anthropologist   [Full text]

Ioana Florea  [1]

Abstract: To look back and reflect upon past field diaries, field encounters and events is the invitation of this paper, constructed both as a research note and as a personal research story. The invitation is addressed especially to young anthropologists. The paper recalls and re-analyzes data from three past online fields – one interactive website calling itself the “Romanian online community in Vancouver”, one online forum entitled the “Indian online community in Germany”, and the real-time communication portal Yahoo Messenger. It highlights the out-of-the-ordinary events recorded on each field, which illustrate complex relationships between the online and offline worlds. Further interpreting the fields as what contemporary American anthropologist Timothy Simpson, following Richard Sennett, calls “narrative spaces”, I hope to reveal more of the social construction of these virtual spaces. The main hypothesis to be explored and proposed for further debate are 1) that interactive virtual spaces develop as narrative spaces, around the frame-story offered by their initiators and 2) that narratives are continuously transcending different online and offline spaces, connecting them, while being continuously re-negotiated and re-told.

Keywords: Narrative space, frame-story, transcending spaces

[1] University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, and CIES-ISCTE, Lisbon University Institute, ioana.floreaa@gmail.com