Cyberworlds/ Digital Studies #openthread

Here our goal was to riff and brainstorm around the study of online communities and the interface between the Internet and “real life”.

What is the most critical issue for anthropology in understanding digital culture and social exchange?

  • Are social relationships that use internet modes qualitatively the same as more traditional cultural modes?
  • What is the Internet’s impact on social norms and behavior?
  • How does the Internet alter social relationships, social structures, and identities?
  • Multiple cultures approach and use the internet but the internet is created/ managed/ designed/ controlled by people who do not represent this diversity
  • Internet use within cultural contexts
  • How does it transmit culture?
  • Surveillance
  • Relations between the online and offline
  • Where does the online world stop and the IRL world begin?
  • That humans are never only online there’s always an offline element to internet use
  • How offline cultures shape online cultures
  • Understanding relationship behavior online and offline worlds/ practices/ activities
  • Community sustainability
  • Boundary making
  • Relationship between f2f groups/ communities and cyber communities
  • Trust is so fluid on the use of the internet. We grapple with that
  • How we evaluate information. Why do we use what we use?
  • How does it affect interpersonal relations IRL and online
  • To understand the outerworld, basically the advanced country researcher’s contribution
  • Interactions at large scale: of people, of documents, etc
  • How are multiple subjectivities generated at the various intersections of the digital and other spheres
  • How highly technologiazed micro-practices come together in multiple subject formation
  • Understanding how social networking influences perception of the world
  • Whether existing methods and theories are updated, etc. Ie, what’s “new” and what’s not.
  • Who has access to the Internet
  • Who does use it? When do they? What/ why do they?
  • Why people use the internet is the most critical issue. Ie, emotional reasons, community, family, institutional

What can we do to promote and bring prestige to digital studies in anthropology?

  • Draw connections to existing literature and cite broadly. Turf wars can kill these endeavors
  • Begin by using more traditional methodologies
  • Emphasize their contiguities with existing areas of anthropological inquiry
  • Teach anthro of cyberworlds as part of introductory anthro classes – integrate story within canon of anthro
  • Set up a system of peer review
  • Create a prominent review site/ system for work in the area
  • Publish
  • Publish and exchange more
  • Write good books about it
  • Distinguish it so clearly from other spheres domains of anthropological inquiry
  • Creation and maintenance of digital platforms – blogs, games, sites, etc
  • Have top line on-line site aimed at generate prestige aura
  • Continue to publish in conventional peer reviewed scholarly outlets
  • Special issue/ part of Am Anth dedicated to the topic; book series with Univ of Minn press; award for innovative work
  • Communicate anthro effectively, particularly online
  • Research issues that will be shared with public or publish in journals
  • Set some type of more ethical standards
  • Stop using the term cyberworlds and then garner experts who are influential current debates
  • Invite, invite, invite many diverse voices to join the research and conversation
  • Demonstrate the applicability of cyber studies to education, economics, business, politics, and other fields. And make it available to the public in accessible ways
  • IN attempt to explain and convert create issue of Am Anth as guest editors. Make AAA have it open
  • It is a medium of contacting people and to access the relationship
  • Show how online sociality is as real and consequential as offline sociality
  • Show its importance to offline lives
  • Make it clear that the values expressed and traditions created within digital realms are no less or more real than those expressed or created in physical settings
  • Create ethnographies that bridge the “divide” between digital and body to body experience
  • Fund and create labs that allow us to experiment and share our understandings publish those results widely in multiple formats
  • Integrate digital anthro pin publication, conference, mainstream it
  • Get big names and important anthropologists to serve as discussants. Hold panels with other sub disciplines (medical anth) to cross fertilize

3 thoughts on “Cyberworlds/ Digital Studies #openthread

  1. Nice. It would seem that you are having difficulties in recruiting interest in this field. Interesting. So much can and will be done in this field. I like terms defined. How many new cultures will evolve from this? How many are there now? The ethics/morals thing is a field unto itself, as is security, language, games… oh so much. Maybe more than a mere human can or could comprehend. How to grasp the emesity of it all?


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