The field of anthropology took a long time to discover the significance of media in modern culture. In this important new book, Anna Pertierra tells the story of how a field - once firmly associated with the study of esoteric cultures - became a central part of the global study of media and communication. She recounts the rise of anthropological studies of media, the discovery of digital cultures, and the embrace of ethnographic methods by media scholars around the world. Bringing together longstanding debates in sociocultural anthropology with recent innovations in digital cultural research, this book explains how anthropology fits into the story and study of media in the contemporary world. It charts the mutual disinterest and subsequent love affair that has taken place between the fields of anthropology and media studies in order to understand how and why such a transformation has taken place. Moreover, the book shows how the theories and methods of anthropology offer valuable ways to study media from a ground-level perspective and to understand the human experience of media in the digital age.
Media Anthropology for the Digital Age will be of interest to students and scholars of media and communication, anthropology, and cultural studies, as well as anyone wanting to understand the use of anthropology across wider cultural debates.
- Chapter 1: Worlds Collide: The Meeting of Mass Media and Anthropology
- Chapter 2: Anthropologists Embrace the Media in Earnest
- Chapter 3: Cultural and Media Studies Embraces Ethnography
- Chapter 4: Ethnography in the Digital Age: The Internet and Virtual Worlds
- Chapter 5: Digital Intimacies: Mobile Cultures and Social Media
- Chapter 6: Anthropologists Making Media
- Chapter 7: Divided by a Common Language: More on Ethnography
Faye Ginsburg, New York University
"An extremely useful elucidation of the specific contribution of anthropologists in our understanding of the social and cultural significance of media and digital technologies around the world. Anna Pertierra has done the field a huge service by providing a clear and comprehensive overview of media anthropology and how it relates to adjacent fields such as cultural studies and media and communication studies."
Ien Ang, University of Western Sydney