DGV05: internet and anthropology

The Internet and sociocultural anthropology—continuities and breaches
A review of approaches to cyberanthropology
by Nils Zurawski

It took nearly ten years from the Welcome to Cyberia to the Cyberidentities at War. During those ten years the Internet changed from hackers’ and specialists’ playground to common medium. Ten years during which the amount of research on (culturally informed) identities on the net increased steadily. Coexisting, independent from each other, and sometimes as continuations there were smaller and larger projects now and again—dealing with the phenomenon of identity on the net / in cyberspace. As the whole field of activity still being comparatively young, it is time for a critical survey disclosing and discussing continuities and breaches.

Although the general topic has remained the same, the approaches are decidedly distinct. Cultural and regional differencies are visible—concerning the research as well as the academic discourse. Regarding German-speaking anthropology it still holds true that the main impulses stem from anglophone academia. And an opening towards cyberanthropology takes place grindingly slow. Nevertheless some kind of acceleration is noticeable.

The goal of this presentation is to encourage debate on cyperspace as field (of research), on possibilities of access to this field and the topic at large—especially concerning German-speaking anthropology.

Abstract of a presentation to be held at the workshop ‘cyberanthropology’ during the Conference of the German Anthropological Association (GAA aka DGV) – Halle / Saale, 4th – 7th October 2005.
translation from German by zeph—put the blame on me
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