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Gastvortrag von Dr. Primus M. Tazanu: "The Anthropology of (Social) Media"

Wann 19.07.2022
von 12:00 bis 14:00
Wo HS1009
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In this lecture we will learn how anthropological insights help us understand the ways in which social media is transforming communication, identities, relationships, politics, etc. Anthropology has widened the way we understand and study media in the society. Anthropologists are interested in the media from two broad angles: first of all, media are cultural products and secondly, the media provide platforms for cultural mediation. This second point literally means we can observe cultural transformations on/through the media. Because they are interested in both media infrastructure and media users, anthropologists work on uncovering the wider consequences of users’ practices and expectations by asking what people do on/with the media. Particularly with reference to social media, we are witnessing rapid changes that may be difficult to grasp theoretically. What framework does anthropology offer us to theorize such changes? How do we theorize the social media users’ on- and offline identities and practices? These questions are pertinent in that, unlike earlier media (radio, TV, cinema, newspaper, etc.) where the producers and the audience may be distinct, in the world of social media, the producers and the consumers may be indistinguishable; they may switch roles and this destabilizes what has long been described as ‘media power.’ 


Primus M. Tazanu (Ph.D., Freiburg) teaches anthropology at the University of Buea, Cameroon. Primus is also a senior guest researcher at the Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His research focuses on social practices and the production of meanings through media technologies: new/social media and sociality/governance, media and Pentecostalism, and media and racism.