New Open Access Book: Social Media in an English Village

Alison Fox's picture
Type: 
Online Digital Resources
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Communication, Sociology, Social Sciences, Digital Humanities

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UCL Press is delighted to announce the publication of an open access book that may be of interest to members of this list: Social Media in an English Village

Download Free: http://bit.ly/1QpYbaB

This title available in both free open access http://bit.ly/1QpYbaB and print editions (paperback, £15.00, http://bit.ly/1QpYbaB | hardback, £35.00 http://bit.ly/1QpYbaB)

Daniel Miller spent 18 months undertaking an ethnographic study with the residents of an English village, tracking their use of the different social media platforms. Following his study, he argues that a focus on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram does little to explain what we post on social media. Instead, the key to understanding how people in an English village use social media is to appreciate just how ‘English’ their usage has become. He introduces the ‘Goldilocks Strategy’: how villagers use social media to calibrate precise levels of interaction ensuring that each relationship is neither too cold nor too hot, but ‘just right’.

He explores the consequences of social media for groups ranging from schoolchildren through to the patients of a hospice, and he compares these connections to more traditional forms of association such as the church and the neighbourhood. Above all, Miller finds an extraordinary clash between new social media that bridges the private and the public domains, and an English sensibility that is all about keeping these two domains separate

Download free: http://bit.ly/1QpYbaB

About the Why We Post

Why do we post on social media? Is it true that we are replacing face-to-face relationships with on-screen life? Are we becoming more narcissistic with the rise of selfies? Does social media create or suppress political action, destroy privacy or become the only way to sell something? And are these claims equally true for a factory worker in China and an IT professional in India?

With these questions in mind, nine anthropologists each spent 15 months living in communities in China, Brazil, Turkey, Chile, India, England, Italy and Trinidad. They studied not only platforms but the content of social media to understand both why we post and the consequences of social media on our lives. Their findings indicate that social media is more than communication – it is also a place where we now live. 

This series explores and compares the results in a collection of ground-breaking and accessible ethnographic studies. To find out more, visit http://www.ucl.ac.uk/why-we-post

Contact Info: 

UCL Press

University College London

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London

WC1E 6BT