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Tweets about Daniel Miller’s UOC presentation on Facebook

May 30, 2011

Tweets from presentation FACEBOOK – AN EXTREME READING
NB – best read from bottom to top.
Daniel Miller – UCL (University College London), IN3 Visiting Professor, Open University of Catalonia (UOC)

Barcelona, 30 May 2011


This paper reports on a study of Facebook in Trinidad recently published in the book Tales from Facebook (Polity 2011). This suggests that previous arguments about the internet need to be re-thought since in some ways Facebook represents the opposite, rather than a continuity, with the prior internet. The focus of this paper is on the global and older population as opposed to earlier literature on US students.

The paper then goes beyond that publication to open up three more extreme possibilities. That Facebook flies in the face of foundational assumptions within social science with regard to the nature of modern sociality. Secondly that Facebook is a way in which people attempt to create a relationship to God. Thirdly that Facebook runs parallel to one of the best known anthropological theories of culture, based on the Kula ring, and seems to suggest that Strathern’s characterisation of Melanesian personhood actually applies much more widely.

Where: MEDIATIC Building, 7th. floor, William J. Mitchell Hall, Roc Boronat street, 117, Barcelona 08018
When: Monday, 30 May 2011 (10:30 – 12:00)

Tweets (in reverse chronological order, mostly from @JohnPostill, some @Mediacciones)

Q & A

“No concuerdo con las personas que sólo hacen estudios online, lo online sólo adquiere sentido por lo offline” Miller

…Miller: unless you know offline context can be misled into exaggerating online phenomena blown up by journalists

Miller q/a: Czech partiicpant: fb as once happyland. Miller: racists early colonisers of fb in trinidad … but easy for journalists

Miller: facebook important for diaspora comms feeling connected to issue; fasbook

Daniel Miller q/a: role facebook arab protests? not community. M: not just facebook, theres polymedia. Morozov exaggerates, other side too

q/a miller, edgar gomez: methodology? Miller: i’m anti-methodology, sensitive to ppl you’re with, keep changing my method incl facebook

Daniel Miller: facebook adapted to diff cultures eg trinidad, started copying earlier adopters, then experiment other uses incl death issues

miller q/a: seattle participant: sharing of intimacy eg death. Miller: modern informality problem when death comes; fb death more informal

Daniel Miller: facebook seen by ppl globally, not just social sci, as partly repairing loss of community

miller q/a: elisenda ardevol, opposition internet vs fb, evolution of internet. Miller: fb is deeply conservative.

q/a miller. sarah pink: proximity and fb. Miller: proxemics, what degree of closeness appropriate, e.g. these ppl shoudnt post on my wall

daniel miller q/a: lee komito: facebook and anonymity. Miller: it was getting easier to escape surveillance wt mobiles, fb makes it harder


“facebook es completamente lo opuesto de Internet” Daniel Miller

“facebook is the land of truth, the book of truth” Daniel Miller

Daniel Miller: facebook not horizontal network, its layered, vertical, certainly not global network

facebook not homogenising, not making cultures more similar, rather the opposite

trinidadians see facebook as instrument of truth

Daniel Miller: trinidad has always had friending verb, though meaning something else, namely sexual partner

is fb homogenising or heterogenising tech? Daniel Miller: facebook as perfect for being trinidadian, in their own view

facebook making world less sociological more anthropological, people as social networking sites

Daniel Miller: who will inherit facebook? future elderly when put in a home; mothers; the shy – isolated ppl (may not be fb itself)

trinidadian: yes, facebook is like community but not quite as bad, less pressures, conflict etc

facebook disrupts our earlier understandings of internet and community

facebook brings people back into kinship as we know it anthropologically

facebook imposes great burdens on filipino migrants abroad, not just financial also social/kinship

… how do you cut a network? (strathern) crucial issue for migrants

deirdre mckays’s very important work on filipino kinship and social network sites

facebook makes relationships visible in certain ways

anthro of individualism: strathern’s theory of melanesian selves, created by how rels create visibility, e.g. baby makes mums and dads

…but first thing facebook does is bring people back from oblivion: cousins, old schoolmates etc

Daniel Miller: you could tell story of facebook as individual level spread of capitalism via individual micro-brand management, but…

Daniel Miller: facebook discussions on privacy too superficial for complex individual lives

…not only an academic book

Tales from Facebook not an academic book; fasbook

daniel miller, i found facebook topic in trinidad cos of heavy use when i went there; fasbook

what would be anthro take on facebook? ive always done ethnography, incl. in caribbean island of trinidad

daniel miller: both sociology and anthropology rooted in nostalgic loss of community, kinship; fasbook

Facebook, an extreme reading, Research seminar by @DannyAnth

daniel miller facebook talk starting soon, barcelona uoc fasbook

@JohnPostill @UOC_Universitat @DannyAnth Trinidadian Facebook talk hashtag: #fasbook

Will be tweeting Daniel Miller’s Facebook talk from 10 am Barcelona time, @UOC_Universitat @DannyAnth #anthropology #sociamedia

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2011 5:45 pm

    Many thanks!!!

  2. May 30, 2011 6:36 pm

    Adding a couple from the first part:
    Daniel Miller: by using Facebook, migrants relationships come back, but you can’t separate kinship, work, new relationships there

    Approaches to understand Facebook as a time suck. Where is the time sucked to? In finding lost relationships!

    It may be that migrants, to some extent, are pioneers on reconnecting and restoring lost relationships? will see what research tell us. Thanks!

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