Sharing knowledge: how the internet is fueling change in anthropology

sharingknowledge1 (powerpoint form) – I had to convert it from open office format to upload it here. Backgrounds got a bit butchered…

This presentation serves as the basis for my main thesis proposal. I’ve run it by two classes so far, and since I’ve been talking so much about blogging and sharing knowledge, I’ll just get this out of the way and start sharing myself.

It weaves together numerous debates I’ve found interesting in class readings, and in debates being held in the blogsphere. It doesn’t yet deal with how I’m going to add to this topic with ethnographic research, but it develops what I think makes for an interesting theoretical background to look at online anthropology.

Vassos Argyrou, in “Anthropology and the Will to Meaning” (2002) writes:
“The academic game is the game of knowledge (and ignorance) which inextricably, if not always intentionally, is also a game of power. The only way to put an end to this game (the only way under the conditions of domination, that is) is to play it better than the players themselves.”

So how have new communication technologies changed the way the game is played?

A brief outline yanked from the powerpoint…

  • Decolonizing anthropology – juicy quotes from Vassos Argyrou, and Max Forte
  • Public Anthropology – juicy quotes from Kerim Friedman, and Kimberly Christen
  • Online Prestige – (Bourdieu, Khazaleh) -> the political economy of publishing in anthropology
  • Three main research areas
  1. The Filtering Knowledge debate – Peer review, social ranking,
  2. The Open Access debate – creative commons, open access journals, licensing and law
  3. Public engagement – the language/content debate.

Once I have time to link a wiki, I’ll make this a permanent page and develop it properly… The powerpoint should give you an idea where I’m trying to go with this research project though.


The idea about a “publishing paradox”, where more is produced then can ever be consumed, or where more is produced then is _allowed_ to be consumed, comes from Willinksy’s fantastic book “The Access Principle” (2006) which I highly recommend.


6 responses to this post.

  1. I’m glad the Remixing Anthropology blog was useful. Been too busy to update it recently, but activity should pick up later in the year as we get closer to the AAA.


  2. […] you have time, check it out and voice your concerns and ideas! This written section compliments the presentation I created earlier, and the two together consist of my research proposal so […]


  3. […] Anthro Blog Popular: Sharing Knowledge: How the internet is fueling change in anthropology A thesis proposal sums up how open access, expanding knowledge, and engaging the public can and is […]


  4. […] Thesis Proposal Sharing knowledge: how the internet is fueling change in anthropology (Another Anthro […]


  5. […] a student with Another Anthro Blog, got excellent feedback on his thesis proposal through his post Sharing Knowledge: How the internet is fueling change in anthropology. John Postill of media/anthropology developed the ideas for a conference paper, from a general […]


  6. […] Sharing knowledge: how the internet is fueling change in anthropology (source: Another Anthro Blog / via OAN, […]


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