Anthropology

My first major digital research project

While I wouldn’t want to risk over-simplifying it, Digital Anthropology studies how different cultures use (or don’t use) technologies like cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter in everyday settings, especially focusing on the technologies’ role in people’s overall lives. Since earning my Master of Science degree in the field, with distinction, from University College London in 2012,  I’ve drawn on my studies and experiences to write a few popular articles for popular anthropology publications. In the not-so-distant future, I plan to continue to apply the discipline’s concerns and methodology to the study of the selectivity and longevity of digital information.

 

Blog for the Ethnography Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) 2013 website

Sept 8, 2013

 “London: The Tube: A Short Users’ Guide for EPIC Visitors”

Aug 17, 2013   

 “London: Eccentric Museums”

July 14, 2013     

“London: Finding Small Places in a Very Large One”

The Material World material culture blog

March 8, 2013   

“King’s Cross Bikes, Memorials, and Urban Experience”

Jan 7, 2013

“Camp 2.0” 

The “Camp 2.0” article was derived from my dissertation,  the more technical abstract for which is:

This paper explores American summer camps as virtual visions of nature and sociality, drawing connections with questions of the boundaries of online experience and serving as an ethnographic exploration of Camp Quest Oklahoma and Camp Quest Texas. Camp is rooted in myths of a ‘more natural’ time and place, set apart from urban modernity and responsibilities of adult life. In practice, camp negotiates with nature on terms of modern expectations for leisure, safety, and scheduling, using the focal affordances of its isolation to instill values in children for their non-camp lives. Camp leaders seek to foster community – and heighten the immediacy of the camp experience – through both regulating campers’ access to communications technology and various evocations of the outside; the leaders, as facilitators, may transcend camp’s physical and technical bounds. For CQ’s non-religious campers and volunteers, camp is an opportunity to be among others ‘like them.’ It is situated in a cultural ecology of personal belief, broad communal identification through New Atheist mass culture, and a geographically-proximal community using the Internet to find like-minded families and individuals to meet in-person. In and outside camp, digital technology increases the complexities of ‘separation’ and ‘connection.’

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