The field of anthropology took a long time to discover the significance of media in modern culture. In this important new book, Anna Pertierra tells the story of how a field - once firmly associated with the study of esoteric cultures - became a central part of the global study of media and communication. She recounts the rise of anthropological studies of media, the discovery of digital cultures, and the embrace of ethnographic methods by media scholars around the world. Bringing together longstanding debates in sociocultural anthropology with recent innovations in digital cultural research, this book explains how anthropology fits into the story and study of media in the contemporary world. It charts the mutual disinterest and subsequent love affair that has taken place between the fields of anthropology and media studies in order to understand how and why such a transformation has taken place. Moreover, the book shows how the theories and methods of anthropology offer valuable ways to study media from a ground-level perspective and to understand the human experience of media in the digital age. Media Anthropology for the Digital Age will be of interest to students and scholars of media and communication, anthropology, and cultural studies, as well as anyone wanting to understand the use of anthropology across wider cultural debates.
Anna Cristina Pertierra is Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Social Analysis at Western Sydney University.