Social Networking Sites

This paper discusses the particular significance of Social Network Sites (SNS) for anthropology. SNS have turned out to be something much closer to older traditions of anthropological study of social relations such as kinship studies. The critical points made by Postill and Miller and Slater followed evidence that internet networks tended to be specialist and partial associated with specific interests. From this evidence we may construct a larger argument. Instead of focusing on SNS as the vanguard of the new, their main impact is to redress some of the isolating and individualizing impacts of other new technologies and allow people to return to certain kinds of intense and interwoven forms of social relationship that they otherwise feared were being lost. SNS have then an extraordinary ability to return the world back to the kinds of sociality that were the topic of traditional anthropological concern and as such are hugely important to contemporary anthropology and the future of the discipline.

Released: Replika 108–109, 157–172.
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