Situational Analysis and Digital Methods
Keywords:digital methods, funeral, grief, situational analysis, situational analytics, autoethnography
In this paper, I reflect upon the methodological implications of digitization and digital methods for situational analysis. I carefully read Noortje MARRES's argument for and development of what she called situational analytics. I ask how her proposal would be incorporated within a situational analysis project of digitization and funerals. I develop a provisional research design, as a kind of thought experiment, weaving my reflections on situational analysis and digital methods through an autoethnographic account of mourning in the enforced digital of the COVID-19 pandemic. I conclude with the argument that such digital methods are necessary for situational analysis to reckon with, and yet also pose a risk of erasing the embodied and affective elements of a situation. I contend that the poiesis of ethnographic research—where mediated and embodied interactions qua situations are experienced and written into language, and writing forms a necessary but always also impossible task—remains rooted in bodies and affects that are always also elements in situational analysis. We cannot lose track of those elements that also defy the digitized elements of any given situation.
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