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Social Media in Northern Chile 

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Nell Haynes | June 2016

Format: 234x156mm

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ISBN: 978-1-910634-59-2
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ISBN: 978-1-910634-57-8
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ISBN: 978-1-910634-58-5
Price: £15.00

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978-1-910634-60-8
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978-1-910634-61-5
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Pages: 224pp

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About the book

Based on 15 months of ethnographic research in the city of Alto Hospicio in northern Chile, this book describes how the residents use social media, and the consequences of this use in their daily lives. Nell Haynes argues that social media is a place where Alto Hospicio’s residents – or Hospiceños – express their feelings of marginalisation that result from living in city far from the national capital, and with a notoriously low quality of life compared to other urban areas in Chile.

In actively distancing themselves from residents in cities such as Santiago, Hospiceños identify as marginalised citizens, and express a new kind of social norm. Yet Haynes finds that by contrasting their own lived experiences with those of people in metropolitan areas, Hospiceños are strengthening their own sense of community and the sense of normativity that shapes their daily lives. This exciting conclusion is illustrated by the range of social media posts about personal relationships, politics and national citizenship, particularly on Facebook. 

About the author

Nell Haynes is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the American University in 2013. Her research addresses themes of performance, authenticity, globalization, and gendered and ethnic identification in Bolivia and Chile.


Table of contents

Introduction: Online and on the Margins in Alto Hospicio, Chile| The Social Media Landscape: Performing Citizenship Online | Visual Posting: The Aesethics of Alto Hospicio  | Relationships: Creating Authenticity on Social Media | Work and Gender: Producing Normativity and Gendered Selves | The Wider World: Imagining Community in Alto Hospicio | Conclusion: The Extraordinary Ordinariness of Alto Hospicio

About Why We Post

Why do we post on social media? Is it true that we are replacing face-to-face relationships with on-screen life? Are we becoming more narcissistic with the rise of selfies? Does social media create or suppress political action, destroy privacy or become the only way to sell something? And are these claims equally true for a factory worker in China and an IT professional in India?

With these questions in mind, nine anthropologists each spent 15 months living in communities in China, Brazil, Turkey, Chile, India, England, Italy and Trinidad. They studied not only platforms but the content of social media to understand both why we post and the consequences of social media on our lives. Their findings indicate that social media is more than communication – it is also a place where we now live.

This series explores and compares the results in a collection of ground-breaking and accessible ethnographic studies.To find out more, visit ucl.ac.uk/why-we-post