Performativity and Belonging: Negotiating the Ethnographer and Her Field in Virtual Worlds

Consumer research has historically found the philosophical rendering of concepts such as agency and structure, essence and anti-essentialism, social stratification and social reproduction an eternal concern when theorising consumer phenomena. Within the disciplinary discussions of the researcher-respondent relationship however dualistic models endure. This paper explores this issue within the context of our own work as ethnographers in virtual worlds. To do this we present auto-ethnographic vignettes of our arrival narratives within these virtual worlds drawing on the concepts of performativity and belonging and conclude that the multiple co-constructions of self and other that we co-perform with our research subjects have many insights to offer consumer research, and to progress our understanding of our own real world research practice.


Ioanna Nikolaou and Shona Bettany (2011) ,"Performativity and Belonging: Negotiating the Ethnographer and Her Field in Virtual Worlds", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 448.


Ioanna Nikolaou, University of Bradford, UK
Shona Bettany, University of Bradford, UK


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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