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Date & Time:
16:30:00 - 18:00:00,
Tuesday 24 November, 2015


This paper reports on research by nine anthropologists who simultaneously carried out a collaborative 15 months ethnography on the use and consequences of social media in fieldsites ranging from the Syria-Turkey border, an IT complex in south India to both a factory and a rural town in China, a squatters settlement in Brazil, a mining town Chile, an English village and small towns in south Italy and Trinidad. The focus will be on two issues: our definition of social media as `scalable sociality’, in contrast to prior media with its duality of the private and the public, and secondly the impact of a shift to visual communication. These have consequences for a broad range of issues such as enhanced conservatism, and both enhanced and reduced individualism, inequality and privacy. The paper will briefly discuss our theoretical structures that underlie this project such as the `theory of attainment’, and `polymedia’. Registration is mandatory, please email

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