Chapter 24 | Ethnography in Audiovisual Translation Studies


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Publication date: 13 September 2018
Copyright date 2019
Hardback ISBN: 9781138859524
E-book ISBN 9781315717166
You can order this volume on the Routledge website






In this chapter, netnography is presented as a useful method for studying the phenomenon of participatory AVT. As a specialized form of ethnography in the social spaces of online environments, netnography involves an active approach that seeks to engage and connect with members of a community that manifests itself through computer-mediated communications, with the aim to obtain a detailed and embedded understanding of the cultural meanings of that community. Utilizing this method, it is possible for us to identify, select, analyse and aggregate the particularities in networked forms of AVT performed by consumers, in order to gain first-hand and authentic insights into their collaborative consumption experiences. Such insights can be used as the basis for developing effective AVT services tailored to the real needs and expectations of media consumers.

Through a reflexive account of the author’s netnographic fieldwork, this chapter examines strategies developed by the author to overcome methodological challenges encountered during her fieldwork, which mainly include defining the boundaries of a multi-sited community; building relationships with participants in virtual contexts; and using fieldwork tools to manage digital data. While the strategies developed by the author are in relation to her personal experience in an online community formed by Chinese fansubbers, these strategies could provide some useful clues for researchers who may find themselves in similar situations.



Dang LI is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and a member of the Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies. She holds a PhD in Translation and Intercultural Studies from the University of Manchester. Her research interests lie mainly in audiovisual translation, non-professional subtitling, and corpus-based translation studies.



The Routledge Handbook of Audiovisual Translation Studies provides an authoritative and straightforward overview of the field through thirty-two specially commissioned chapters written by leading scholars in the field.

This state-of-the-art reference work is divided in four sections. The first part focuses on established and emerging audiovisual translation modalities, explores the changing contexts in which they have been and continue to be used, and examine how cultural and technological changes are directing their future trajectories. The second part explores the interface between audiovisual translation and a range of theoretical models that have proved particularly productive in steering research in audiovisual translation studies. Some of these models are associated with disciplines that have long intersected with audiovisual translation, while others are drawn from areas of knowledge that are only now beginning to make their presence felt in the audiovisual translation literature. The third part surveys a range of methodological approaches supporting traditional and innovative ways of interrogating audiovisual translation data. The final part addresses a range of themes pertaining to the place of audiovisual translation in society: these include the institutionalization, academization and technologization of audiovisual translation, as well as its role as a force for social change, both within and outside the industry. This Handbook gives audiovisual translation studies the voice it needs to make its presence felt within the Humanities research landscape.


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