The Digital Street: An Ethnographic Study of Networked Street Life in Harlem

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47 Scopus citations


This article makes the case that street life is characterized by its flow online and offline. Such change requires a new way of doing street ethnography that holds great promise for urban and digital scholars alike. I walk through a set of empirical cases drawn from years of participant observation on the ground and in the network with the same set of teenagers in Harlem. The fieldwork modeled also shifts concepts of public space, reworking Elijah Anderson’s Code of the Street through digital study and grounding the concept of networked publics in urban ethnography. This article bridges urban and digital approaches to ethnography to keep pace with the social life of the street.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


  • communication
  • ethnography
  • networked public
  • social media
  • street
  • urban


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