"Pocketing" research data? Ethnographic data production as material theorizing

  • We analyze the relations between ethnographic data and theory through an examination of materiality in research practices, arguing that data production is a form of material theorizing. This entails reviewing and (re-)applying practice-theoretical discussions on materiality to questions of ethnography, and moving from understanding theory primarily as ideas to observing theorizing in all steps of research practice. We introduce “pocketing” as a heuristic concept to analyze how and when ethnographic data materializes: the concept defines data’s materiality relationally, through the affective and temporal dimensions of practice. It is discussed using two examples: in a study on everyday architectural experience where ethnographic data materialized as bodies affected by architecture; and in a study on digital cooperation where research data’s materialization was distributed over time according to the use of a company database. By conceptualizing data’s materiality as practice-bound, “pocketing” facilitates understanding the links between data and theory in ethnographic data production.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Author:Christine Neubert, Ronja Trischler
Parent Title (German):Journal of contemporary ethnography
Publisher:Sage Publications
Place of publication:London [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2020/10/31
Date of first Publication:2020/10/31
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/01/06
Tag:affect; data production; materiality; practice theory; temporality
Page Number:21
First Page:99
Last Page:119
Institutes:Gesellschaftswissenschaften / Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 300 Sozialwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0