P26
Anthropology of social networking: growing visuality of digital cultures and meanings conveyed by SNS images

Convenors:
Eugenia Kuznetsova (Deusto University)
Alexander Ronzhyn (University of Deusto)
Location:
Anthropology Library
Start time:
31 May, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

The proposed panel aims to bring together the topics dealing with social and cultural meanings of photographs published in a variety of social networks: from local, national networks to global networks like thoroughly visual Instagram or mostly visual Facebook.

Long abstract:

The recent trends in digital culture prove that digital world of today tends to rely on visual images rather than on the text. The function of photography is being transformed as it becomes the basic mean of self-expression on many social networking sites. Through this panel, we hope to demonstrate that photography in social networks is not just the anthropological source of information about everyday life, society and culture, but it became the embodiment of people's desires, composing a perfect collective portrait of a contemporary young person as he or she wants to be seen by others. The most active SNS users, young people visualize their desired standards of life, creating a live database for the investigation by social and cultural anthropologists. Cultural differences in values and lifestyle can be researched through national social networks (e.g. vkontakte.ru in Russia or tuenti.es in Spain). Instagram, an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service launched in 2010, serves as a perfect illustration of growing visuality in digital cultures (Lister, 2013). It is also a showcase of transforming function of photography: how certain lifestyles, roles or images are being promoted through images published on Instagram. We hope for paper proposals that would deal with the phenomenon of image-sharing in the Internet social networks.