Anthropology has two main tasks: to understand what it is to be human and to examine how humanity is manifested differently in the diversity of culture. These tasks have gained new impetus from the extraordinary rise of the digital. This book brings together several key anthropologists working with digital culture to demonstrate just how productive an anthropological approach to the digital has already become.
Through a range of case studies from Facebook to Second Life to Google Earth, Digital Anthropology explores how human and digital can be defined in relation to one another, from avatars and disability; cultural differences in how we use social networking sites or practise religion; the practical consequences of the digital for politics, museums, design, space and development to new online world and gaming communities. The book also explores the moral universe of the digital, from new anxieties to open-source ideals. Digital Anthropology reveals how only the intense scrutiny of ethnography can overturn assumptions about the impact of digital culture and reveal its profound consequences for everyday life.
Combining the clarity of a textbook with an engaging style which conveys a passion for these new frontiers of enquiry, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of anthropology, media studies, communication studies, cultural studies and sociology.
Heather A. Horst is a Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, Australia.
Daniel Miller is Professor of Material Culture at the Department of Anthropology, University College London, UK
Section A: Introduction
The Digital and The Human - Daniel Miller (University College London, UK) and Heather A. Horst (RMIT University, Australia)
Section B: Positioning Digital Anthropology
Rethinking 'Digital' Anthropology - Tom Boellstorff (University of California, Irvine, USA)
New Media Technologies in Everyday Life - Heather A. Horst (RMIT University, Australia)
Geomedia: the Reassertion of Space Within Digital Culture - Lane DeNicola (University College London, UK)
Section C: Socialising Digital Anthropology
Disability in the Digital Age - Faye Ginsburg (New York University, USA)
Approaches to Personal Communication - Stefana Broadbent (University College London, UK)
Social Networking Sites - Daniel Miller (University College London, UK)
Section D: Politicising Digital Anthropology
Digital Politics and Political Engagement - John Postill (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)
Free Software and the Politics of Sharing - Jelena Karanovic (New York University, USA)
Diverse Digital Worlds - Bart Barendregt (Leiden University, Netherlands)
Digital Engagement: Voice and Participation in Development - Jo Tacchi (RMIT University, Australia)
Section E: Designing Digital Anthropology
Digital Anthropology in Design Anthropology - Adam Drazin (University College London, UK)
Museum Digital = ? - Haidy Geismar (New York University, USA)
Digital Gaming, Game Design, and its Precursors - Thomas Malaby (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA)
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328pp, 9 bw illus
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|Researchers and teachers alike have long been waiting for this invaluable guide to the tricky terrain of digital anthropology. Demonstrating what anthropology brings to the study of the digital and vice versa, Horst and Miller's book provides a firm launching-off point for new investigations of the remediations, remodulations, and reconfigurations associated with digital media and technology.|
Paul Dourish, Professor of Informatics, University of California, Irvine