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Daniel Miller photo

Daniel Miller

Latest UK blog post

Social media Goldilocks: Keeping friendship at a distance

Tue, 09 Dec 2014 16:58:53 +0000

Many people seem to think that social media such as Facebook are principally a means to find and to develop relationships such as friendship. Clearly those people don’t try to study the English. I have just finished a chapter of my book on Social Media in an English Village and it has become increasingly clear […]

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United Kingdom

United Kingdom street view

The Glades is administratively two villages since High Glade is in one local district and Lee Glade in another. They are north of London, and these days could be considered almost a suburb to another suburb which is in turn a a suburb to North-West London itself. Though this final separation from London seems to accord with a remarkable change in population, in that The Glades have almost no migration population which is entirely different from these other areas closer to London where they travel to shop or to party. Together The Glades’ population comes to around 24,000 persons. House prices are still quite high given the proximity to good transport to London. They also have good schools and low crime rates. High Glade includes some quite wealthy detached housing and is politically Conservative. Lee Glade includes greater numbers of social housing, though this is a minority of the village as a whole. This part of the village is politically Liberal Democrat. There are quite a few community activities and societies though early research suggests these may be mainly used by a small proportion of the population. Much of the rest of whom are, in effect, commuters. This is a marked change from a few decades ago when there were many good employment prospects nearby.

In terms of social media my initial inclination is to see this in terms of differential use by age bands. I will be investigating young people’s use of platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat through the schools. I suspect there is intense use of Facebook amongst younger parents. But Facebook is also found amongst the majority of older people, that is over 60, though used more passively. I will also continue with an extensive study I have been carrying out for nearly a year of media usage by terminal cancer patients, though this will not be restricted to the village but based in the Berkhamsted region where the hospice is based. In terms of more theoretical interests, I intend to investigate social media in relation to patterns of English sociality more generally, as part of a more general investigation of Englishness.

Page last modified on 14 aug 13 16:04


European Research CouncilEuropean UnionUCL Department of Anthropology

Grant number: ERC Project 2011-AdG-295486 SocNet
Project title: Social Network Sites and Social Science