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The Ethnography Atelier podcast discusses research methods with accomplished qualitative researchers. We talk to guests about their experiences of conducting research in and around organizations, the challenges they faced and the understandings they gained. If you have comments about the podcast or you'd like to get involved, please contact us.

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Episode 15 - Angèle Christin: Researching Influencers and Social Media Platforms

Pedro Monteiro and Pauli Pakarinen •  April 2023

Episode 15 - Ethnography Atelier
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In this episode, we talk to Angèle Christin about the challenges and opportunities of studying influencers and social media platforms. The context for this conversation is her latest research, a digital ethnography for a new book on the algorithmic labor of influencers and influencer marketing on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. The conversation is packed with insights on gaining access to a phenomenon that happens online in private spaces (including a story on how Angèle became an influencer herself); the promises of designing research on niches or fields in the social media space; and practical reflections on how to make ethnography “the art of the possible.”  


Angèle Christin is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and affiliated faculty in the Sociology Department, the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, and the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization at Stanford University. She studies how algorithms and analytics transform professional values, expertise, and work practices.


Further information

  • Christin, A., and Y. Lu. Forthcoming. “The Influencer Pay Gap: Platform Labor Meets Racial Capitalism.” New Media & Society. 

  • Christin, A. 2020. “The Ethnographer and the Algorithm: Beyond the Black Box.” Theory & Society. 49(5-6): 897-918. 

  • Kellogg, K.C, M.A. Valentine, and A. Christin. 2020. “Algorithms at Work: The New Contested Terrain of Control.” Academy of Management Annals 14(1): 366-410. 

  • Christin, A. 2020. Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms. Princeton University Press. 

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