Digital Anthropology


Digital Anthropology

A group for people interested in digital anthropology. What should people interested in digital anthropology be paying attention to right now.

Members: 302
Latest Activity: Dec 16, 2014

Discussion Forum

Netnography in Indonesia, a blog

Started by Jessika Tremblay Jan 6, 2014.

Technologies of research 23 Replies

Started by Justin Shaffner. Last reply by Zoë West May 20, 2013.

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Comment by Zy on March 11, 2010 at 6:22pm
Identity and Social Networks: (It's in German!)
Comment by Steffen Dalsgaard on February 24, 2010 at 8:42pm
Jessika, there are limits to all methodological approaches. You could also ask in what ways a (micro-)ethnographic approach will open up for perspectives, which other approaches will overlook. Two very good outlines (I think) of ethnography in relation to different approaches as well as different contemporary challenges is given by Michael Burawoy (1998, in Sociological Theory, and 2000 in his edited volume Global Ethnography). A concrete example for methodology in relation to ethnography of schools in developing countries could be Wayne Fife (book: Doing Fieldwork - 2005). Haven't read his stuff myself but heard good things about it. Good luck with it, sounds like interesting and relevant research.
Comment by Lene Pettersen on February 24, 2010 at 11:30am
Hi Jessika, interesting case you are studying! It's not what you are asking for, but still interesting stuff to check out at Jonathan Donners' site about mobile phones and third world countries - He'll speak at a conference in may :-)

Comment by Jessika Tremblay on February 24, 2010 at 1:59am
Thanks Fausto. I'll be in touch with updates as I go along.

Comment by Fausto dos Anjos Alvim on February 24, 2010 at 1:31am
Hi Jessika,

I'm a masters student also. Sorry I can't help you very much with the microetnography thing: I am into Actor-Network Theory and making an experiment in ethnography with it. It isn't really tested very well in the field yet, so my work is a long shot. It seems to me that if it works at all, it would be helpfull in microethnography also. Check this out: Reassembling the Social by Bruno Latour (Oxford University Press, 2005). Tricky stuff, though.

Anyway, as a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Programme Officer I was in contact with some OLPC moves here in Brazil. It is another context entirely. I'm out of UNDP now, though still working for them as a consultant in International Free Software) but I would be very interested to know more about the development of your work, since friends of mine in HQ/NY are rather into this stuff, specially if in Africa.


Comment by Jessika Tremblay on February 24, 2010 at 12:16am

I am a Masters student in the beginning stages of designing a research project for my thesis. I plan to research the impacts of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program in Rwanda by conducting ethnographic fieldwork (probably a microethnography) in some of the primary schools there. (See for more info on OLPC). Reviewing the literature on methodology for anthropology and education has only revealed a mass of criticism about the limits of microethnography, but I have yet to find anything about changes or proposed solutions to those problems. I am looking for something that is a concrete example of successful school ethnography to draw ideas for my own study. Does anyone have any suggestions? Something post 1990 would be preferable.

Many thanks! (And apologies for cross-posting)

Comment by ESWARAPPA KASI on September 20, 2009 at 8:44am
Thank you very much for your interest in my forthcoming book of 'Rethinking Developmental Discourse in the 21st Century India' Dear Dr. Fausto dos Anjos Alvin.
I will definitely forward my book once it is out from the press.
Comment by Fausto dos Anjos Alvim on September 19, 2009 at 9:24pm
This is a double comment. The first is a continuation of my answer to Rhys. I am now coordinating a regional (Latin America and the Carribean) project for International Public Software with the United Nations Development Programme - UNDP. In a sense I'm doing participative observation. My "engineer-sociologists" are trying to build a model of the Brazilian Public Software use complex systems analysis (remembers Bateson in a way - even though it has it's shortcomings, the result is very interesting for field work) and we are using extensivly ICT communication tools, since Brazil is a continental size country and people can't fly in all the time. I'm trying to paste a slide of what one of these meeting is like (about 30-40 participants, sometimes half presentially at the Ministry of Planning and half on line), but I don't know if it will work out. Anyway Rhys, the results of the field work with the help of new technology have been very good. Please contact me if you want any more details.

The second comment is for Dr. Eswarappa. At a meeting last month in Caracas with some of the partners of the International Public Software project, my colleague from UNDP NY brought in the subject of the use of Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD) in India (he has been there many times and was at Hyderabad in last november). We had a long debate because there are issues concerning TATA's participation in the programs and the use of proprietary software. Anyway the main point was how to measure the impact of ICTD on the poor. I was encharged of making a draft project about this and have called a meeting with a government think tank in São Paulo for early October to sweat this out. Seeing the thematics of your edited book ‘Rethinking Developmental Discourse in the 21st Century India’, I got curious about the possibility of you or any of the authors having made some kind of ethnographical study concerning this field. If so I would be very gratefull if you could forward me any info.

Closing this comment, if anybody feels curious about this strange mixture of ethnography, free software, national governments and international organizations, please feel free to contact me.
Comment by ESWARAPPA KASI on September 19, 2009 at 7:12am
I am Dr. Eswarappa Kasi is currently Guest Faculty and taught a course titled ‘Tribes and Other Backward Communities in India’ to Integrated Masters (IMA) Students in the Special Centre for Integrated Studies (SCIS) and Department of Anthropology, University of Hyderabad, India during January- May 2009 Semester.
In the coming semester (July-December 2009), I will be teaching a course titled ‘Fieldwork and Research Methods’ to Integrated Masters (IMA) Students in the Special Centre for Integrated Studies (SCIS) and Department of Anthropology, University of Hyderabad, India.
PhD Topic: “An Anthropological Study of Livelihoods: A case of Two Sugali Settlements in Ananthapur District of Andhra Pradesh”.
Link to my PhD Thesis:
M.Phil Topic: “Developments and Change due to Sericulture: A Village Study” in Chittoor District. The study analyzes the upliftment of rural Livelihoods (sericulturists) of Kotha Indlu village, as a result of Implementation of Development programmes, as part of M.Phil.

Masters Dissertation: “Life Cycle Rituals among the Koyas of Boddugudem: An Ethnographic Study”. The study is conducted in the village of Boddugudem in ITDA, Bhadrachalam, to find out the role of life cycle rituals and their belief systems in their daily life activities, as part of MA course.
My new book based on my M.Phil Work is being published titled as ‘ANTHROPOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT IN A GLOBALIZED INDIA: AN ETHNOGAPHY OF SERI-CULTURE FROM THE SOUTH’, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Isbn13: 978-1-4438-1345-7, Isbn: 1-4438-1345-1
Book Link:
This book seeks to portray sericulture as a crop enterprise which is emerging as one of the foremost significance for theoretical and methodological understandings in the disciplines of sociology and social anthropology in India. Thus, anthropological analysis of sericulture and its emergence in development literature gives us an idea of the activity leading to further theoretical and critical studies. Anthropological understanding of sericulture and its development, as studied by scholars of different disciplines across the states of India, is therefore thoroughly explained. Sericulture is best suited to a country like India where manpower and land resources are in surplus. It generates direct and indirect employment in various ways. More and more farmers in India have taken up sericulture activity which, once confined to only five states, has now spread to almost all the states of India. Sericulture also creates gainful employment for women and aged people at home with minimum risk. Thus, the analysis clearly establishes the importance of sericulture over other agricultural practices in the generation of fresh employment opportunities in rural areas. Further, it is shown that as a predominant sector of rural development, stability is the vital requirement for sericulture enterprise.

Special Issue Editor- MAN IN INDIA Journal:
2009 Jointly with (Dr. R. Siva Prasad) Special issue Theme on ‘Issues and Perspectives in Anthropology Today’ for the Journal MAN IN INDIA, (Vol. 89, (I &2) 2009). In this anthology, we have taken a specific device to highlight the trends of research in anthropology and through which multifarious human dimensions conditioned by present day circumstances principally in Indian Contexts which have been explored.
Edited Books:
1) Dimensions of Social Exclusion: Ethnographic Explorations, jointly with K.M. Zoyauddin , Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, (http://www.c-s- Exclusion--Ethnographic-Explorations1- 4438-1342-7.htm). Isbn13:978-1-4438-1342-6, Isbn: 1-4438-1342-7
2) Ethnographic Discourse of the Other: Conceptual and Methodological Issues, jointly with Panchanan Mohanty, and Ramesh C. Malik , Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (
ISBN: Isbn13: 9781847185839, ISBN: 1-84718-583-5 (Hardback)
ISBN 13: 978-1-4438-0132-4, ISBN: 1-4438-0132-1 (Paperback)
Edited Books (In Press):
1) Jointly With (Ramesh C. Malik) ‘Theory and Practice of Ethnography: Readings from the Periphery’ Rawat Publications, Jaipur, India.
The book Theory and Practice of Ethnography is an anthology of research papers contributed by illustrious scholars from India and abroad. Theoretical and empirical layout of the Ethnography, Language, Literature, Culture, Rethinking History and Social Development are significantly accentuated in the present book. Ethnography is highly entertained in the search of the concept of the other which is elaborately discussed in the book. The main emphasis of the contributions highlight the deprivation-economic, social, cultural and linguistic among the marginalized groups of Indian society mainly; women, tribal, and the downtrodden. Ethnography is both a process and a product, in this direction, the entire exercise in this volume focuses on applying the different methodological tools of ethnography.

2) ‘Rethinking Developmental Discourse in the 21st Century India’, New Delhi: Serials Publications, 2009.
In order to understand the dynamics of development in the 21st century India, an attempt is made in the book to address the themes which cover the range of theoretical and empirical understandings in the field of interdisciplinary works of scholars drawn from across the disciplines. Thus, it makes a link between field experiences and the classroom debates and discussions. The book also tried to portray the debates of contemporary developmental discourse and how far are they reaching to the common man or the poor in the contemporary Indian Society.
Comment by Nathan Jarred Jones on August 4, 2009 at 11:11pm
Being a part of Digital Anthropology should prove very interesting, since I spent 25 years in the computer industry before entering the field of Anthropology. Having had so much contact with computers, I'm of the opinion that they are social, cultural, and empathic

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