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Religions 2015, 6(3), 988-1005; doi:10.3390/rel6030988

Ethnography of Religious Instants: Multi-Sited Ethnography and the Idea of “Third Spaces”

1
Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Millsaps College, 1701 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39210, USA
2
Department of English, Millsaps College, 1701 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39210, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gregory Price Grieve
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 6 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 25 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Steps in Religion and Popular Media)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [220 KB, uploaded 25 August 2015]

Abstract

Attempts to understand contemporary religious practice, and its associated communities and identities, must take into consideration the way that these phenomena exist in both virtual and physical spaces, as well as the way that, in some instances, religion bridges or erases this dichotomy. The approach here focuses on those forms of religious practice that do not fit easily into one or the other type of space. Starting with existing discussions of ethnographic methodologies for studying religious practice and the growing literature on how to study “digital religion”, we examine the methodological needs for studying “third spaces”, the hybrid, in-between spaces of religious practice. The model presented here is one of simultaneous and collaborative ethnography that extends shared methods across the virtual and the actual dimensions as the most productive approach to this type of research. Using tailored research methods and techniques within this approach offers the opportunity to consider ways in which behaviors, interactions, and speech acts that happen within this event are continuous or discontinuous with each other. It also offers insight into the dynamics of “shared experience” and how perspectives are or are not shared within these multiple dimensions. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-sited ethnography; religious instants; third spaces; simultaneity; collaboration; methodology multi-sited ethnography; religious instants; third spaces; simultaneity; collaboration; methodology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Murchison, J.M.; Coats, C.D. Ethnography of Religious Instants: Multi-Sited Ethnography and the Idea of “Third Spaces”. Religions 2015, 6, 988-1005.

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