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Digital Anthropology / Edition 1

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Highly recommended. All levels/libraries." - A. Arno, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Choice Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780857852908
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 1,060,576
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Heather A. Horst is a sociocultural anthropologist at the University of California Humanities Research Institute, University of California, Irvine.

Daniel Miller is Professor of Material Culture at the Department of Anthropology, University College London.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors vii

Part I Introduction

1 The Digital and the Human: A Prospectus for Digital Anthropology Daniel Miller Heather A. Horst 3

Part II Positioning Digital Anthropology

2 Rethinking Digital Anthropology Tom Boellstorff 39

3 New Media Technologies in Everyday Life Heather A. Horst 61

4 Geomedia: The Reassertion of Space within Digital Culture Lane DeNicola 80

Part III Socializing Digital Anthropology

5 Disability in the Digital Age Faye Ginsburg 101

6 Approaches to Personal Communication Stefana Broadbent 127

7 Social Networking Sites Daniel Miller 146

Part IV Politicizing Digital Anthropology

8 Digital Politics and Political Engagement John Postill 165

9 Free Software and the Politics of Sharing Jelena Karanovic 185

10 Diverse Digital Worlds Bart Barendregt 203

11 Digital Engagement: Voice and Participation in Development Jo Tacchi 225

Part V Designing Digital Anthropology

12 Design Anthropology: Working on, with and for Digital Technologies Adam Drazin 245

13 Museum + Digital = ? Haidy Geismar 266

14 Digital Gaming, Game Design and Its Precursors Thomas M. Malaby 288

Index 307

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