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Adapting Ethnographic Methods in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Scottish Country Dancing

Yang Zhao (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Ethics, Ethnography and Education

ISBN: 978-1-83982-247-6, eISBN: 978-1-80071-008-5

Publication date: 23 June 2022


This chapter discusses the differences between face-to-face and online ethnographies of Scottish Country Dancing. It draws on fieldwork conducted firstly in Lyon in 2017 and subsequently in Edinburgh in 2017–2018, with further fieldwork in Edinburgh, due to the global pandemic, now taking place online. Online Scottish Country Dancing is challenging, especially given that this social dancing requires a partner and space. Due to the pandemic, how and why individuals do online dancing has shifted because people can now link in and across different locations. As a researcher as well as a dancer, my current project utilises blended ethnography, including textual analysis, fieldnotes, participant observations, interviews and surveys. Conducting online ethnographic practices raises specific ethical considerations and challenges, most notably concerning who is being observed and whether the participants are aware of being observed. This chapter addresses how the research aims to adapt ethnography from face-to-face fieldwork to online situations, in response to the impact of COVID-19 and associated ethical challenges.



Zhao, Y. (2022), "Adapting Ethnographic Methods in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Scottish Country Dancing", Russell, L., Barley, R. and Tummons, J. (Ed.) Ethics, Ethnography and Education (Studies in Educational Ethnography, Vol. 19), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 109-127.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Yang Zhao. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited