Journal of Marketing Management: Evolving Netnography

Journal of Marketing Management Special Issue – Evolving Netnography  Deadline 6 Mar 2017

Guest Editors: Robert Kozinets, University of Southern California, USA; Marie-Agnes Parmentier, HEC Montréal, Canada; Daiane Scaraboto, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile.

Over the last twenty years, the methodology of netnography has expanded to new academic fields, adapted to new technologies, diffused to industry, and been altered with new theoretical bases and practices. From studies of newsgroups and chat rooms to blogs, social networking sites, mobile apps, virtual reality, in developing countries and around the world, netnography has been and continues to be transformed and, perhaps, improved (for guidance and examples see Kozinets, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2015). Established at every publication level in marketing and consumer research, netnographies are making their way up the peer-review food chain of other social science fields including education, psychology, sociology, geography, nursing, gaming studies, media studies, and sociology. Yet, with a few notable exceptions such as Bartl, Kannan & Stockinger (2016), Bengry-Howell, Wiles, Nind & Crow (2011) and Wiles, Bengry-Howell, Crow & Nind (2013), we still lack cohesive overviews of the method, or coherent critiques. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, netnography is no longer cutting edge. As the methodology standardizes and the approach becomes conventional, it risks ossification.

This special issue is devoted to the idea of disrupting netnography, either through critique, innovative application, or overhaul. Disruptive netnographic research includes new hybridizations that combine it with other qualitative approaches like historical methods or the digital humanities, or quantitative approaches, data science methods, social network analysis or other methods for analyzing and understanding online data. Disruptive thinking could include breaching netnography’s theoretical bases with theories like assemblages or ANT theories. Netnography could also be used to study new groups, or study well-known groups in new ways. New technology platforms and new ways to represent our research understandings are opportunities to extend and develop netnography. In this special issue, we seek to showcase innovative adaptations, novel critiques or insightful new extensions of netnography.

Submissions are not limited to the following list, but might consider some of the following areas:

  • Rigorous combination of netnography with other methods;
  • New or more rigorous techniques for handling visual (e.g., avatars, Deviant Art), audiovisual (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo), or audio (e.g., podcast) data in netnographies;
  • Netnography conducted mostly on unconventional platforms (e.g. mobile in general or Whatsapp, Snapchat);
  • Work conducted by teams of netnographers;
  • Introspections of netnographers on the practice of netnography;
  • Critical examinations or reflective examples of the use of netnography in (particular or general) industrial contexts;
  • The branding of netnography and netnographers;
  • Research that uses netnography to study individuals and groups that would be difficult to reach with other methods (e.g. home-bound people, deployed military personnel);
  • Netnographies that reach individuals we tend to think of as “disconnected” (e.g. elderly, rural dwellers);
  • Netnographies of the decline, disappearance, suppression, alteration, commercialization, or death of platforms (e.g., MySpace);
  • Critical (positive or negative) examinations or reflective examples of the tendency of netnographies to focus on hidden, disenfranchised or subaltern audiences such as drug users, geriatric sex, teen drinkers, and sexting;
  • Studies focused on the objects/technologies that are instruments of netnographic research;
  • Papers re-visiting key concerns related to netnography (such as sensitive topics; ethics; e.g., Langer & Beckmann, 2005).
  • Netnographies of visually based audiences and communities or reflexive or critical examinations of scholarship in these contexts;
  • Theoretical evaluations and extensions of netnographic elements, such as the role of participation, cross-platform research, or how to adapt research practices to changing technology platforms.

Submissions should provide examples where possible and appropriate. When writing a paper on the analysis of visual research in netnography, for example, it would be best to illustrate points by including an example netnography including visual data analyzed using the method. Innovation extends to format. All forms of submission are welcome, including poetry, story form, short (ten minute or less) videography, and of course the familiar tried and true article format.

For the full Call for Papers including references, and additional detailed information on how to submit content to this issue, please visit:

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