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This talk will provide an overview of a European Research Council (ERC) research project on the use and consequences of social media around the world.
This ERC research project has resulted in 11 Open Access books, a website and an e-learning course.
The project involved nine anthropologists who spent 15 months living in eight countries in communities as varied as an English village, a factory town in China, a community on the Turkish-Syrian border, an IT complex set in villages within south India, a low income settlement in Brazil, as well as sites in Chile, Italy and Trinidad.
It resulted in an original definition of social media as `scalable sociality’ and a demonstration of how generalisation, analysis and theory can be made compatible with the considerable evidence for cultural differences in the use and consequences of social media across the nine field sites. In particular it will challenge the usual way social media is represented in terms of platforms and their affordances.
Topics addressed in this talk will include the way social media changes human communication and the reasons people post memes and selfies. It will explore social media as a place in which we live, and ask why social media may represent the world as more conservative than offline life. It will also briefly address the general impact of social media on areas such as privacy, commerce, education, gender and politics. It concludes by revealing how this comparative global project can be turned into new forms of global education.
Daniel Miller is Professor of Anthropology at University College London, Adjunct Professor in Media and Communication at RMIT University and a Fellow of the British Academy. He has written and edited thirty-seven books. Recent volumes include The Comfort of Things (2008), Stuff (2010), Tales from Facebook (2011), Migration and New Media (with Mirca Madianou, 2012), Blue Jeans (with Sophie Woodward, 2012), Consumption and its Consequences (2012), Digital Anthropology (Ed. with Heather Horst, 2012), Webcam (with Jolynna Sinanan, 2014), Social Media in an English Village (2016) and How the World Changed Social Media (with 8 others, 2016). He tweets at @DannyAnth.
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Getting thereVenue: RMIT Design Hub,Building 100, Level 3 Lecture theatre, corner of Victoria Street and Swanston Street, Melbourne
Walk to the intersection of Victoria and Swanston Streets.
Trams running along Swanston Street include routes 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 and 72, from which you can connect to the train at Melbourne Central or Flinders Street.
Visit the Public Transport Victoria website for more information and connecting services in your area.
No on-campus parking is available for visitors, but you’ll find many commercial car parks a short walk away. Metered street parking is also available nearby, but note the time limits and clearway restrictions.