This article aims to provide a detailed rendering of the struggles we experienced while undertaking ethnographic research for the study of music curators working at online music streaming platforms. Based on the field notes generated during a multi-sited ethnography, the article will critically discuss the “black boxing” strategies employed by these platforms in order to protect themselves from public scrutiny, and how media scholars can counteract in order to (partially) circumvent the restrictions posed by them. In light of this discussion, we propose five tactics that we argue can be employed in order to perform ethnographic research in the age of platforms. We conclude with a reflection on what we can learn from “failures in the field” and why it is important to advance ethnographic studies of the new places of cultural production.

Leggi l’articolo completo qui:
Bonini T., Gandini A. (2020)
The Field as a Black Box: Ethnographic Research in the Age of Platforms
Social Media & Society (online first)