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The mission of the Center for Digital Anthropology is to situate anthropology’s methods, theoretical frameworks, and comparative perspective at the forefront of studies of the global adoption of digital technologies. Anthropology is by definition comparative and global, committed to the study of multiplicity and diversity in the context of overarching narratives of progress, development, and socio-cultural change. As anthropologists, we are committed developing a comparative perspective on digital technologies, one that will allow us to understand the application, development and meanings of these technologies from multiple subject positions and in multiple environments, including those which are marginalized or even cut off entirely from the digital world, and from the world of academic enquiry and governmental policy. We believe that it is vital to engage with issues of gender, religion, language, social exclusion, power, and identity in the “digital age” and we are committed to methods and forms of writing and presentation that can privilege the multiple perspectives and experiences of digital technologies around the world.
Starting from the longstanding tradition of Material Culture Studies in the Department of Anthropology at UCL, the Centre locates the digital as part of a continuum of existing technologies, materials, media and social relations, and also asks what is new, different and transformative about the so-called “digital age”. We are committed to developing theoretical perspectives that locate the digital within the long-standing global histories of technological change, globalization, consumer cultures, and social networks, and within the diverse experiences of different cultural groups in creating representations of social order, external forms of identity, the exchange and quantification of information and so forth.
Page last modified on 17 apr 13 07:42