TITLE: Interpreting online phenomenological experience using IPA
OUTLINE: The Internet is an experiential medium, connecting dispersed actors via technology to augment human-to-human contact. Out of the networks which have emerged from Web interaction have come experiences of anonymity, agency and self-expression which social science is increasingly qualitatively exploring for insight into users’ experimentation with identity. Yet the use of IPA in this domain has been limited.
Based upon the analysis of online transcripts for a study exploring identity play in goal-oriented virtual environments, this talk provides an overview of the issues which arise when using IPA online. Included is an overview of the virtual space as a phenomenon of social experience, the unique potential for the use of IPA in the online medium and the potentials and pitfalls which both support and hinder phenomenological analysis in this domain.