Thursday, February 16, 2017

Free books on social media research (in England; China; Internationally) @UCL

University College London has a book series, with books available as free pdfs as well as proced publications. The series (which is ongoing) focuses on research into use of social media in different parts of the world. They have published one book which has an overview looking worldwide, one book on England and two on China. Others are scheduled to follow.
- Miller, D. et al. (2016). How The World Changed Social Media. London, England: University College London. (Published February 2016 ISBN: 978-1-910634-49-3) "How the World Changed Social Media is the first book in Why We Post, a book series that investigates the findings of anthropologists who each spent 15 months living in communities across the world. This book offers a comparative analysis summarising the results of the research and explores the impact of social media on politics and gender, education and commerce."
- Miller, D. (2016). Social Media in an English Village. London, England: University College London. (February 2016, ISBN: 978-1-910634-44-8) "Daniel Miller spent 18 months undertaking an ethnographic study with the residents of an English village, tracking their use of the different social media platforms. Following his study, he argues that a focus on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram does little to explain what we post on social media. Instead, the key to understanding how people in an English village use social media is to appreciate just how ‘English’ their usage has become. He introduces the ‘Goldilocks Strategy’: how villagers use social media to calibrate precise levels of interaction ensuring that each relationship is neither too cold nor too hot, but ‘just right’. He explores the consequences of social media for groups ranging from schoolchildren through to the patients of a hospice, and he compares these connections to more traditional forms of association such as the church and the neighbourhood. Above all, Miller finds an extraordinary clash between new social media that bridges the private and the public domains, and an English sensibility that is all about keeping these two domains separate."
- Wang, X. (2016). Social Media in Industrial China. London, England: University College London. (September 2016, ISBN: 978-1-910634-64-6) "Described as the biggest migration in human history, an estimated 250 million Chinese people have left their villages in recent decades to live and work in urban areas. Xinyuan Wang spent 15 months living among a community of these migrants in a small factory town in southeast China to track their use of social media. It was here she witnessed a second migration taking place: a movement from offline to online"
- McDonald, T. (2016). Social Media in Rural China. London, England: University College London.  (September 2016, ISBN: 978-1-910634-69-1) "Tom McDonald spent 15 months living in a small rural Chinese community researching how the residents use social media in their daily lives. His ethnographic findings suggest that, far from being left behind, social media is already deeply integrated into the everyday experience of many rural Chinese people."
Photo taken by Sheila Webber in the 3D VW Second Life in China Town

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