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What we are reading #2: video and digital ethnography methods

Last week, we started our fieldwork, involving visiting the homes of people living in Sydney and talking to them about their digital technology use and the personal data generated by their use. We video-tape the visits for use in later analysis and write a detailed case study for each home visit.

To prepare us for our fieldwork, we have been reading the work of other researchers who have used similar methods – video and digital ethnographies in the context of people’s homes. Below is a list of some of the publications we are finding most valuable, and which our study’s findings will be building on.

Desjardins A, Biggs HR, Key C, et al. (2020) IoT data in the home: observing entanglements and drawing new encounters. CHI 2020. Honolulu: ACM, 1-13.

Hjorth L, Pink S and Horst H. (2018) Being at home with privacy: Privacy and mundane intimacy through same-sex locative media practices. International Journal of Communication 12: 1209-1227.

Kennedy J, Nansen B, Arnold M, et al. (2015) Digital housekeepers and domestic expertise in the networked home. Convergence 21: 408-422.

Krajina Z, Moores S and Morley D. (2014) Non-media-centric media studies: a cross-generational conversation. European Journal of Cultural Studies 17: 682-700.

Leszczynski A. (2019) Digital methods III: The digital mundane. Progress in Human Geography online first.

Lupton D, Pink S, LaBond CH, et al. (2018) Personal data contexts, data sense and self-tracking cycling. International Journal of Communication, 12. Available at

Moores, S. (2012) Media, Place and Mobility, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Moores S. (2014) Digital orientations:“Ways of the hand” and practical knowing in media uses and other manual activities. Mobile Media & Communication 2: 196-208.

Pink S and Fors V. (2017) Self-tracking and mobile media: new digital materialities. Mobile Media & Communication 5: 219-238.

Pink S, Hjorth L, Horst H, et al. (2018) Digital work and play: Mobile technologies and new ways of feeling at home. European Journal of Cultural Studies 21: 26-38.

Pink S and Leder Mackley K. (2016) Moving, making and atmosphere: routines of home as sites for mundane improvisation. Mobilities, 11. Available at

Pink S, Sumartojo S, Lupton D, et al. (2017b) Mundane data: the routines, contingencies and accomplishments of digital living. Big Data & Society, 4. Available at

Richardson I and Hjorth L. (2017) Mobile media, domestic play and haptic ethnography. New Media & Society 19: 1653-1657.

Richardson I, Hjorth L, Strengers Y, et al. (2017) Careful surveillance at play: Human-animal relations and mobile media in the home. In: Cruz EG, Sumartojo S and Pink S (eds) Refiguring Techniques in Digital Visual Research. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillian, 105-116.

Strengers Y, Kennedy J, Arcari P, et al. (2019) Protection, productivity and pleasure in the smart home: emerging expectations and gendered insights from Australian early adopters. Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Glasgow: ACM, 1-13.

Strengers Y and Nicholls LJMIA. (2018) Aesthetic pleasures and gendered tech-work in the 21st-century smart home. Media International Australia 166: 70-80.


Published by Deborah Lupton

I am SHARP Professor and leader of the Vitalities Lab in the Centre for Social Research in Health and Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney

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