Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

15: Media Anthropology - Meaning, Embodiment, Infrastructure, and Activism (Peake)

  • Page ID

    • Describe the history of media anthropology including initial resistance to media as a topic of anthropological study.
    • Identify the major categories of media that are studied by anthropologists.
    • Explain how anthropologists explore the meaning of media and media experiences including the ways meaning can be shared or contested by individuals and communities.
    • Evaluate innovative approaches to media anthropology including autoethnography, photo voice, participatory photography, and fabrication.
    • Assess the importance of mechanical and cultural infrastructure for the exchange of ideas.

    Media is a word that can be used to describe a set of technologies that connect multiple people at one time to shared content. Media anthropologists study mass communication (broadcast radio and television) and digital media (Internet, streaming, and mobile telephony) with a particular interest in the ways in which media are designed or adapted for use by specific communities or cultural groups. Many research projects focus on media practices, the habits or behaviors of the people who produce media, the audiences who interact with media, and everyone in between.

    Thumbnail: A television reporter speaking into a microphone in front of a camera, 2005. Image used with permission (CC BY 2.0; Jonut).