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Digital Anthropology


‘The digital’ is defined here as new technologies that are ultimately reducible to binary code. These have made many cultural artefacts easier and quicker to both reproduce and to share. The first section of this entry is concerned with populations and worlds that are largely the result of digital technologies. The second section examines the more general use and consequences ofdigital technologies on diverse populations around the world. Rather than separating off the impact of digital technologies, amajor contribution of anthropology has been through holistic ethnography, which demonstrates that we can only understand newdigital worlds in the context of wider social relations and practices. Rather than trying to adjudicate digital technologies aspositive or negative, anthropology may also focus upon their inherent contradictions. A third section examines the way digital technologies impact anthropological methodology. In the final section the concern is with the impact digital anthropology mayhave on our conception of anthropology itself and what it means to be human.

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CC BY-NC / CC BY-NC-SA

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