Our journey to become ethnographers: Debate or Relate

Debate or Relate is our digital artefact that allows us to ethnographically research the field site of online debating and discussion. The field site is explained here:

By creating this digital artefact, we are able to generate data about our own experience as mediators of a public sphere. This will be through the method of participant observation, which is the process of researchers learning about the activities of people through observing and participating in the same activities (DeWalt & DeWalt, 2002). As a result of this research method, we will use autoethnography to generate more data. By journaling and reflecting on our process and the outcome of our experience, we will attain our goal of learning about online discourse and how we will create a platform for discourse to occur. As well as this, we will analyse our data through discourse analysis as well as connecting our experience with theoretical frameworks such as the theory of communication by McLuhan

As we are aware that creating an online debating and discussion platform may cause heated discussions, especially with certain topics, ethical issues may arise. To ensure that all perspectives may be heard and there are no discriminatory or offensive remarks, we will moderate all the posts before they are uploaded. This is due to our goal of creating a platform that provides a safe space where people can have informative discussions. In addition, we aim to develop skills such as sensitivity, reflexivity and including in order to be successful ethnographers (Cresswell 2016). 


Cresswell, JW. (2016) ‘30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher’ Sage: Los Angeles. 

DeWalt, KM. & DeWalt, BR. (2002) ‘Participant observation: a guide for fieldworkers’ Chapter 1, p1-4, Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, available at: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=p1wcO3UNXQ4C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false&gt

4 thoughts on “Our journey to become ethnographers: Debate or Relate

  1. xxindefit 24th Aug 2021 / 12:43 pm

    I’m absolutely in love with your media niche idea, I think it is very innovative and I love the colors of your presentation video and Mind Map.

    You’ve also captured the audience demographic really well, and your pitch is interesting enough to have me want to join in on the discussions!

    Although your pitch is very well written and easy to understand, there are some areas that you can improve on if you wish to do so, I shall give you some advice in ways of which you can make your pitch blog even better!

    I understand the time and word limit constraints are hard to hurdle over, but I think you would do better in narrowly explaining your ideas and reasons with a few sentences.
    Another thing I’ve noticed is that you mentioned your reasons in which to combat any ethical concerns that may arise. I can understand the attraction of wanting a safe space for people to have civil public debates on very controversial topics, but a popular concern that may arise with areas of discussion like free speech or with minorities there should be an extra consideration to posts of that nature (and to have a diverse moderation persona that will filter the discussions like you’ve mentioned in the pitch). I’m sure this has come up in your other discussion blog posts and that you’ve got it handled but for the sake of sharing some information-


    This blog post studies the inclusiveness of a public debate media and the marginality that comes with it. Reading this post may give you a different perspective on how you filter discussion posts, taking into account the individual race, age, gender, and their public profile, to further moderate their speech.

    Ways in which you can be inclusive can be a strike/warning system where each individual gets a limited amount of chances, or you can have a team of moderators that will hold a democratic vote on whether or not the post should be allowed. This may take more time than planned but I believe it could be a way in which discussions can become more inclusive, just because one person has a controversial view, doesn’t mean they themselves are controversial.

    Other than that I think your pitch was amazing and very informative. I’m looking forward to see your DA’s come to life.

    Thanks, and happy writings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nick Gates 27th Aug 2021 / 3:09 am


    I think this is an excellent DA for this class, I like the idea of conducting first-hand data and information instead of conducting second-hand research to gather data about your topic. You did however mention that you would moderate the posts to make sure everything is conducted appropriately. My only advice would be not to filter debates. Although you are discussing controversial topics that could potentially lead to some rude remarks, which I am against for the record, but as researchers, our job is to observe without interference. So from that standpoint, it would make sense to simply observe and report from a distance, without influencing discussions.

    Keen to see how your project turns out!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s