“Remember that if you choose to include information in your public profile … that information will also become public”: Methods and Ethics for Online, Socio-Sexual Fieldwork

  • Andrew DJ ShieldEmail author


Scholars who conduct new research via and about socio-sexual platforms like Grindr have a wealth of information at their fingertips, but also many ethical dilemmas. The first half of the chapter presents tips and considerations for scholars who gather quantitative and qualitative data—such as about users’ responses to drop-down menus, or trends in self-presentation—via covert participant observation. The second half of the chapter explores the method of interviewee recruitment via socio-sexual platforms and encourages scholars to consider the effects of announcing themselves in an online field. Ethnographers must also reflect on how their own subject positions affect the recruitment and interview processes.


Methods Ethics Online ethnography Participant observation Interviews 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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