With fieldwork on pause during COVID-19, spatial mapping and remote interview strategies have helped us understand research participants’ realities from a distance.

What day is it?

The lockdowns and limitations of the COVID-19 era make it more challenging than ever to keep track of our daily affairs. Gone are many of the external constraints that lent structure to our time: commutes, gym visits, day care, happy hours.

The global pandemic has also compelled us to suspend in-person studies. But that doesn’t mean we’ve abandoned fieldwork entirely. Drawing on ethnographic methods in remote interviews, we’ve learned how people are using social media to break up the continuity of time and space at home.

Technology’s shifting role in domestic life offers valuable insights into…

Larry S. McGrath

Larry leads user research for technology organizations. He has taught anthropology, history, and philosophy and currently works at Facebook.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store