Framing multi-sited ethnography as an approach for coping with the complexity of young people's ways of learning, communicating and expressing themselves in and outside secondary schools


  • Fernando Hernández-Hernández University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Rachel Fendler University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Juana M Sancho Gil University of Barcelona, Spain



This paper discusses the epistemological and methodological implications of a research project which seeks to understand what occurs when young people observe, reflect, narrate and share how they learn to communicate and express themselves, in and outside secondary school. We undertook this task through a series of five multi-sited ethnographies that move through school, home and virtual environments. To accomplish this complex objective, the notion of multi-sited ethnography is used both as a conceptual and methodological framework. We start by discussing what it means to research young people’s learning experiences from a multi-sited ethnographical approach. We then describe the role of virtual environments as tools for sharing, communicating and disseminating the research process and experiences. Finally, we confront the experience of doing multi-sited ethnographic research based on young people's ethnographical studies of their own learning practices and opening up new challenges and possibilities for educational ethnography.

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