Virtual Dasein: Ethnography in Cyberspace

Author(s) Daniel Martin Varisco
Contact Daniel Martin Varisco, 22 High Pine Glen Cove, NY 11542, USA. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 2, Iss. 1, 2007, pp. 26-45
Published May 10, 2007
Type Article
Abstract The cyberculture created by individuals who enter cyberspace is a fieldsite only recently visited by anthropologists. In this essay I argue that one way of approaching the ethnography of cyberspace is to treat it as virtual Dasein, in which the issue becomes being there in something-like-a-world yet still being in the world. Ethnographers now need to consider the impact of the Internet on the people they study, even in the remotest villages. The promise and potential peril of virtual reality calls for critical assessment of the economic and political consequences of cyberspace development. Finally, our own involvement with the Internet demands a reflexivity that goes beyond musing over the mutant prospect of becoming cyborgs to assessing a new combination of humans, technology and information.
Keywords ethnography, social aspects, information and communication technology, sociology