Social Media in Northern Chile
Nell Haynes
Politics & Social Sciences
Social Media in Northern Chile

Based on 15 months of ethnographic research in the city of Alto Hospicio in northern Chile, this book describes how the residents use social media, and the consequences of this use in their daily lives. Nell Haynes argues that social media is a place where Alto Hospicio’s residents – or Hospiceños – express their feelings of marginalisation that result from living in city far from the national capital, and with a notoriously low quality of life compared to other urban areas in Chile.

In actively distancing themselves from residents in cities such as Santiago, Hospiceños identify as marginalised citizens, and express a new kind of social norm. Yet Haynes finds that by contrasting their own lived experiences with those of people in metropolitan areas, Hospiceños are strengthening their own sense of community and the sense of normativity that shapes their daily lives. This exciting conclusion is illustrated by the range of social media posts about personal relationships, politics and national citizenship, particularly on Facebook. 

Front Cover
Half Title
Introduction to the series Why We Post
List of figures
1 Introduction: Online and on the margins in Alto Hospicio, Chile
Viva Alto Hospicio!
Viva El Norte!
Viva Chile?!?
Life on the margins
Erasing difference, highlighting normativity
Ordinary people, extraordinary citizenship
The form of this project
2 The social media landscape: Performing citizenship online
Modernity and mass communications in Chile
Defining social media
Reworking self-​expression on social media
Building a balanced social media diet
3 Visual posting: The aesthetics of Alto Hospicio
Instagramming the uninteresting
Daily life and social class on social media
The joys of mediocrity
Rethinking normative aesthetics
4 Relationships: Creating authenticity on social media
Suspicion, authenticity and visibility
Family relationships on social media
Social media sites of visibility
Performing relationships in absence
Building trust on social media
Authentic citizenship online
5 Work and gender: Producing normativity and gendered selves
Work and industry in Northern Chile
Work and masculinity
Women’s work
Gender, work, pleasure
Normativity and sex(uality)
Productive gendered citizenship
6 The wider world: Imagining community in Alto Hospicio
Imagining community in Alto Hospicio
Disenfranchisement from national politics
Local P/​politics
Being culturally Chilean
De-​politicising indigeneity
International solidarity
Similarity, difference, community
7 Conclusion: The extraordinary ordinariness of Alto Hospicio
Social media ethnography in Alto Hospicio
Social media and social context
Neoliberalism, marginality and social media
The unassuming aesthetic
Networks, normativity and boundaries
Performing social scripts
Performing the ordinary in an extraordinary place
Appendix 1 – Social Media Questionnaire
Back Cover
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