CMC and Anthropological Media-Research

Jens Kjaerulff (etnojens@AAU.DK)
Wed, 23 Aug 1995 14:17:00 -0700

I wonder if anyone on this list can recommend literature that deals with
doing anthropological research on, in a word, "media-consumption".

I have had an interest in computer mediated communication for some time,
and it is my impression that while there seems to be a burgeoning body of
literature on community in cyberspace as a "style of imagination",
relatively few have made an attempt to situate the use of CMC within a
larger social scheme. My own background for approaching CMC studies is in
particular anthropological studies of history in connection with modern
nationalism (I did my masters thesis on Japanese cultural nationalism).
Within this field of study I feel that "the media" are too often invoked as
an unproblematized empirical entity, a "black box" as it were. With
respect to anthropological studies of CMC I sense a similar problem, and to
deal with it I deem it cogent to look to anthropological field research
focusing on mass media consumption.

However I have only recently started to specifically look for ethnographies
and other anthropological literature on researching uses of mass media.

What I am after is research designs and epistemological considerations
related to these. I would like to get a better idea of how anthropologist
have attempted to study uses of mass media, through participant-observation
and otherwise.

I would be delighted by any recommendations for reading.

Please MAIL to me whatever you might post in connection with this. Thank you.

Jens Kjaerulff