The Global Social Media Impact Study based at the UCL Department of Anthropology (London, UK) is dedicated to understanding the implications of social networking sites for global humankind and society, and explaining their significance for the future of the social sciences.
Nine simultaneous ethnographies take place in eight different countries around the world – Brazil, Chile, China (North), China (South), India, Italy, Trinidad, Turkey and United Kingdom – in order to grasp the implications of social networking sites and social media for mankind.
The main focus of the research is on the insights that a study of social media might bring to social science more generally. Other key topics are parent-child relationships, separation in families, transnational separation, privacy and politics, welfare issues (incl. low income populations and issues of the digital divide), the elderly, the role of SNS in memorialisation and the assessment of new social media relative to everything else that a person, or indeed a society, does.
The study brings together a team of leading anthropological researchers from around the world, supported by experts in social media and dissemination. They include Daniel Miller (Principal Investigator), Elisabetta Costa, Jolynna Sinanan, Juliano Spyer, Nell Haynes, Razvan Nicolescu, Shriram Venkatraman, Tom McDonald, and Xinyuan Wang.
The project blog contains draft chapters.