The Postmodern Ethnographic Flaneur and the Study of Hyper-Mediated Everyday Life
The saturation of mediated communication in contemporary cultural life demands that ethnographers develop alternative methods of social research. In this article Soukup argues that they should embrace the mobilized gaze of the flaneur to understand how postmodern, mediated experiences fit into everyday cultural practices. He also offer a number of recommendations that can guide ethnographers as they examine hyper-mediated cultural contexts. These recommendations include (1) embrace the emergent, fleeting moment; (2) think dialectically about culture; (3) represent the postmodern in “writing” culture; (4) conceptualize ethnography as partial, subjective, and self-reflexive; and (5) embrace the semiotic tradition. By adopting the methodological practices of flanerie, ethnographers can provide compelling and evocative analyses of postmodern culture that make sense of the complex cultural moment.