chapter  6
Being in the Cloud: Analysis of Discourse in Online Communities
Pages 13

Anthropology rests on a strong foundation of fieldwork. Since Boasian tradition has underscored getting out of the armchair and into the field, we have had many evolutions in both practice and perspective to reflect current academic trends, reinforcing the fact that anthropology is a dynamic area of study. When conducting fieldwork in anthropology, one has a plethora of choices for methods – participant observation being the most popular – but in linguistic anthropology, we have a special set of concerns and ethical quandaries to attend to before setting off into the field. Many of those concerns include understanding who the speaker is and who the audience is and from whose “data” exactly we are to seek permission to document, perhaps transcribe, interpret, and potentially publish. All disciplines share some fieldwork and ethical concerns, specifically acquiring the appropriate permission from institutions, communities in question, and any funding bodies; however, in linguistic anthropology, these concerns are confounding because of the question of who.