Anthropology of social networking
- A New Public Order: Network Politics and the Tea Party Movement
- Facebook in Trinidad
- Occupying Cyberspace: Indonesian Cyberactivism and Occupy Wall Street
- 'Online togetherness' of Brazilian migrants on social network sites
- Secret communication systems in Facebook
- Shifting Fields: Social Media, Religion and Popular Culture in Brazil and the Diaspora
- What 'friends' on the screen may mean: social networking shaping the Filipino diaspora
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Social networking blog
The Riots in Brazil seen from a different planet
Tue, 18 Jun 2013 19:27:21 +0000
By Daniel Miller and Juliano Andrade Spyer After Egypt, Turkey, and other parts of the world, it is now time for Brazilians to appear on the front page of international newspapers – here and here. Yesterday, a quarter of a million people participated in political demonstrations across the country. But while I am also in Brazil, [...]Read more...
Anthropology of social media within the city and the Gezi Park protests
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 07:48:59 +0000
Our seven ethnographies on the impact of social media are all going to be carried out in seven different towns, in seven different countries. These have different sizes and characteristics, but as written in the research proposal they are all towns with links with bigger and cosmopolitan cities, and at the same time with surrounding [...]Read more...
My fieldwork experiences
Thu, 13 Jun 2013 08:59:09 +0000
Fieldwork is special in a lot of ways. The experiences that it throws at you are insightful, funny and interesting at the same time. I am sure that all of us have our own share of experiences. Here are a few of mine. Here’s one where I think I was mistaken to be a “(Medical) [...]Read more...
Locating the ‘previously thought extinct’ Brazilian dongle
Mon, 03 Jun 2013 09:00:36 +0000
“Who uses a dongle nowadays?” was the question that crossed my mind when I heard Shriram mentioning that these devices represented an important means by which many Indian people connected to the internet. In my world, dongles used as wireless modems belonged to the past. What was the point of using a dongle if mobiles could do [...]Read more...
Class and communication
Sat, 01 Jun 2013 10:00:02 +0000
I don’t really want to study social class, every researcher on English society seems obsessed with it, as are the general public. Consider the recent reaction to the BBC Great British Class Survey or books such as Watching the English. But after just two months fieldwork in The Groves I am immersed in a whole slew [...]Read more...
Facebook in Trinidad
Daniel Miller and Jolynna Sinanan
Fieldwork for this study was carried out in the winter of 2009/10. It was an offshoot of a different project on migration and transnational communication that was being conducted by Daniel Miller with Mirca Madianou and which produced the book Migration and New Media: Transnational Families and Polymedia. Once in Trinidad it became clear that Facebook was now of considerable significance and so additional research was undertaken to focus specifically on this. As background I also used the experience of many Trinidadians who had become Danny’s own Facebook friends over the proceeding two years.
The results of that study were published as D. Miller Tales From Facebook in 2011 with Polity Press. The book was largely intended for a popular audience with the first two thirds of the book consisting of 12 portraits of individuals from Trinidad and how their lives had been changed. This was followed by more academic essays on how Trinidadian this had become, on 15 thesis about Facebook in general and finally a highly academic essay proposing an anthropological theory of Facebook based on the work of Nancy Munn. Since then this book has been published in a shortened version in German as Das Wilde Netzwork by Suhrkamp. A translation is also planned into Portuguese to be published in Brazil.
The most important conclusions from this study included an argument that social networking should not be overly associated with its point of origin in the US or amongst youth. Rather it seems destined to play a larger role amongst those who want to maintain sociality but are inhibited from doing so. Examples included the housebound, the shy, the elderly. The book also shows how as with other media it is better to understand Facebook as something constructed by Trinidadians and specific to the region, rather than merely an appropriation of something whose authenticity lies elsewhere.
The study of Facebook combined with the earlier work in the Philippines has also been used by Miller and Mirca Madianour to create a new theory of Polymedia. This argues that social networking sites alongside other new media. Once issues of price and access move to the background we see a re-socialising of our relationship to communicative media in general as people are held morally responsible for their choice of one media over another. This point is summarised in a forthcoming paper in the International Journal of Cultural Studies.
The Facebook study was followed by further research by Jolynna Sinanan and Miller in Trinidad during the winter of 2011/12 which concentrated on the impact of webcam and will result in a further book called Webcam which will also be published by Polity. We also continued investigations of the use of Facebook during this research
The Trinidadian study will now form a base line for the further work by us both which forms one of the seven case studies within the ERC program. This will become the most long term of these studies with the previous work in 2009-2012 to be followed by further fieldwork over the next four years to 2016.
Page last modified on 13 mar 12 22:15