The Centre for Anthropology aims to be the leading research hub which locates digital technologies in the rich context of human society and culture... full description


The volume edited by Heather Horst and Daniel Miller is the manifesto for the Centre of Digital Anthropology and is the handbook for the Master... full description


Centre for Digital Anthropology


The Centre for Anthropology aims to be the leading research hub which locates
digital technologies in the rich context of human society and culture. Through
teaching, research and a dynamic series of regular events, we encourage a global
perspective on the development, structures, and practices of digital technologies.
Our critical framework, embedded in social anthropology and material culture
studies understands the digital as part of broader technological traditions, in relation
to other social networks (such as kinship, ethnicity, gender), and in relation to other
ways of coding and representing information. We are developing cutting edge
methodologies for understanding the dynamism of digital practices and
experiences. Framed by anthropological methods of long term, participatory
fieldwork and the practice of writing ethnography, we are also developing digital
tools for enhancing and engaging with social relationships around and within the digital. Our researchers work in Trinidad, Vanuatu, Switzerland, France, Rumania,
The UK, China, India, Italy. We work with and through social networks, webcams,
digital museum collections, massively multiplayer online role-playing games, with
automated work systems, and with mobile phones.

Social Networks and Social Science

Danny Miller

I was recently awarded a 2.5 million Euro grant by the European Research Council for a five year research project under the title Social Networks and Social Science. This follows the success of my recent volume Tales from Facebook (Polity). A major benefit of this award is that it will fund extended ethnographic fieldwork: the heart of this project comprises seven ethnographic studies, each of fifteen months, set in small towns in Brazil, China, India, Italy, Trinidad, Turkey and the UK. This corresponds to an argument within our Digital Anthropology program that new technological developments, regarded by some as transient, are best studied by classic ethnographic research - so most of our study of the consequences of Social Networking Sites will be offline. We have been meeting as a team to develop our methods and our theoretical framework.

One major benefit of this grant is it enables us to keep some of our best students. Three of the team were previously on our Digital Anthropology programme. Amber Wang finished her MSc in Digital Anthropology this year, while  Juliano Spyer completed his Digital Anthropology MSc the previous year. We also have Tom McDonald who did his undergraduate, MA and now his PhD with us (can’t escape) and Razvan Nicolescu who has just handed in his PhD.  As part of the project we have started a portal for associated research at  http://www.ucl.ac.uk/social-networking/” and we are tweeting at @AnthSocNet"

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