Monday, June 06, 2016

#WhyWePost: the Anthropology of Social Media starts in one week

Have you tried enrolling in MOOCs to practice your English? Do you use social media? If so and you are either thinking about trying one or looking for your next MOOC, this might be for you. You can also follow #whywepost on Twitter or Facebook 

Welcome to our course, Why We Post: the Anthropology of Social Media. There's just a week to go now.

The course will draw on the expertise of our nine anthropologist educators who have conducted 15-month ethnographies in industrial and rural China, Trinidad, Northeast Brazil, Southeast Turkey, South India, South Italy, South England and North Chile. Over the five weeks we'll challenge your assumptions about social media, and encourage you to think critically about the impact of social media on areas of life such as relationships, business, politics, communication, education, and equality.
We'll be kicking off with an introduction to academic approaches to social media. In the first week we'll focus on our fieldsite in England, and look at how "Englishness" affects how people in an English village use social media. There will be provocative discussions and a short practical ethnographic exercise to get you thinking like an anthropologist.
In the meantime, you may find it helpful to take a look at the Why We Post website which includes one hundred films and many stories about our work and the different fieldsites. You can also follow the project on Facebook and Twitter.

Get a head start

You might also want to start thinking about how you will conduct your own practical ethnographic exercises. While you're waiting for the course to start, you can prepare by selecting a sample group of about 10-20 people from one of your social media accounts, whom you also know offline. Try to include a range of people e.g. male and female, young and old, but also any other distinction you find interesting, e.g. more or less years in education, types of employment, etc.
Create a 'field book' in which you list these people. This can just be a simple word document on your computer, or you can dedicate a small notebook for this practical work. Try to classify your sample of contacts into categories e.g. friends, family, work colleagues, classmates, and other distinctions you may want to consider for future analyses.
If you don't already have a social media account, such as on Facebook or Twitter, create one and start getting familiar with the kinds of content that people post.

Spread the word

There is still time to invite friends and colleagues to enrol on the course and take part alongside you. Having the support of people you know can really enrich the experience of studying online. As a reminder, the course page where they can enrol can be found here:
There will be plenty of opportunity to interact with other learners within the course, which we strongly encourage. In the meantime, you can use the hashtag #WhyWePost to find and contribute to any discussions on social networks.
If this is your first FutureLearn course, you might like to familiarise yourself with the site by visiting the How it Works page. You'll find more help on FutureLearn's FAQ pages.
Best wishes,
Daniel Miller
Professor of Anthropology
University College London
Need support? Try our FAQs
VAT number: GB160 3989 93
FutureLearn is a registered company in England and Wales - 8324083
PO Box 77, Chambers Building, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BT

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...