Social Media in an English Village

Social Media in an English Village

By Daniel Miller
Book Description

Daniel Miller spent 18 months undertaking an ethnographic study with the residents of an English village, tracking their use of the different social media platforms. Following his study, he argues that a focus on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram does little to explain what we post on social media. Instead, the key to understanding how people in an English village use social media is to appreciate just how ‘English’ their usage has become. He introduces the ‘Goldilocks Strategy’: how villagers use social media to calibrate precise levels of interaction ensuring that each relationship is neither too cold nor too hot, but ‘just right’.

He explores the consequences of social media for groups ranging from schoolchildren through to the patients of a hospice, and he compares these connections to more traditional forms of association such as the church and the neighbourhood. Above all, Miller finds an extraordinary clash between new social media that bridges the private and the public domains, and an English sensibility that is all about keeping these two domains separate.

Table of Contents
  • Frontcover
  • Social Media in an English Village
  • Series page
  • Introduction to the series Why We Post
  • UCL Press
  • Acknowledgements
  • Contents
  • List of figures
  • 1 Welcome to The Glades
    • The Glades
    • How we did this work
  • 2 The social media landscape
    • Complementary and contrastive media
    • School pupils
    • Polymedia and parenting
    • A medley of Twitters
    • Many Twitters in one
    • Historical evidence and the study of affordances
    • Living in a social media zoo
  • 3 Crafting the look
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • To understand the picture, look at the frame
  • 4 Social media and social relationships
    • Before Facebook we all knew what a friend was. Really?
    • Englishness and the ‘Goldilocks Strategy’
    • Porridge is difficult to get right
    • Making and breaking relationships
    • How Facebook became discretely English
  • 5 Making social media matter
    • Learning about education
    • Indirects
    • The erosion of difference
    • Hiding behind a screen
    • Direct boys and indirect girls
    • Social media and the hospice
    • Why breadth is depth
  • 6 The wider world
    • Religion
    • Politics and political views
    • Social media in commerce
    • For institutions too, it is about how to get relationships right
  • 7 How English is social media?
    • Social media as more than affordances
    • A brief history of Facebook
    • Social media as Englishness
    • The tragic dénouement of English sociality
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
  • Backcover
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