Using Facebook as a Space for Storytelling in Geographical Research

Anna de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Geographers have long been alert to the ways space matters to knowledge production and the stories participants choose to share. Despite such understandings, however, geographers remain surprisingly absent from discussions regarding the ways these concerns play out across online spaces. This article reflects on the employment of one online space, Facebook, as a site for storytelling in research exploring return journeys to two Australian festivals – the Big Day Out and Mardi Gras Parade. This article argues that insight over longer temporalities and shifting spatialities afforded through Facebook facilitates heightened understandings of the nuances, repetitions, differences and paradoxes of identities, encounters, and politics. Facebook, therefore, has the potential to allow for different ways of knowing that cannot be ascertained in more orthodox research spaces. Moreover, the slipperiness of conceptualisations of privacy and consent in this space draws attention to the necessity of understanding consent as fluid and ongoing, rather than antecedent to fieldwork commencement. Crucially, however, reconceptualisations of privacy and consent in this space expose potential obstacles university ethics committees may meet in responding to research moving online.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-223
Number of pages12
JournalGeographical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


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