New free e-learning course – Why We Post: The Anthropology of Social Media

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Subject Fields: 
Social Sciences, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication, Journalism and Media Studies

New free e-learning course – Why We Post - The Anthropology of Social Media

Register today at

(Chinese, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil and Turkish versions available at

We are delighted to announce a new, free e-learning course that may be of interest to readers of this list. We apologise for any cross posting.

Why We Post - The Anthropology of Social Media will begin on 29th February 2016. This five week course is taught by the nine anthropologists behind Why We Post, the global social media research study based at University College London.

Topics include:

Week One: What is social media - Polymedia and Scalable Sociality. The focus upon content rather than platforms. The 9 fieldsites. The practical uses of this research. Main fieldsite – village England

Week Two – The shift to visual images in communication. Memes as the moral police of the internet. The significance for illiteracy. The diversity of the selfie. Main field sites - South Italy, Trinidad.

Week Three – The impact on politics and gender. Why public social media is more conservative than offline life. The transformation of gender relations in Hindu and Muslim societies. Main field sites - south India and southeast Turkey

Week Four –What we learn from The Chinese platforms. The impact of social media more generally on privacy, on education and on commerce. Main field sites – Industrial China, Rural China

Week Five – The relation between online equality and offline inequality. When social media may not express identity or individuality. Seeing the normative. How the world changed social media. Main field sites – northeast Brazil and north Chile.

The course is available in seven languages in addition to English.

Register today for the English version at:

Register for the Chinese, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil and Turkish versions at:

NB: These non-English versions are not time bound and can be followed at any time and duration from Feb 29th 2016.

About Why We Post

Why We Post is a project by nine anthropologists who conducted nine simultaneous 15-month studies on the uses and consequences of social media around the world. Sites included a factory town and a rural town in China, a town on the Syrian-Turkish border, low income settlements in Brazil and Chile, an IT complex set between villages in South India, an English village, and small towns in Italy and Trinidad. Outputs will include a free e-learning course (available in 8 languages), a website and 11 open access books, to be published by UCL Press. To find out more, visit To view the video introduction to the Why We Post project, please visit

Contact Info: 

University College London

Gower Street



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