The Routledge Companion to Media Anthropology provides a broad overview of the widening and flourishing area of media anthropology, and outlines key themes, debates, and emerging directions.

The Routledge Companion to Media Anthropology draws together the work of scholars from across the globe, with rich ethnographic studies that address a wide range of media practices and forms. Comprising 41 chapters by a team of international contributors, the Companion is divided into three parts:

  • Histories
  • Approaches
  • Thematic Considerations.

The chapters offer wide-ranging explorations of how forms of mediation influence communication, social relationships, cultural practices, participation, and social change, as well as production and access to information and knowledge. This volume considers new developments, and highlights the ways in which anthropology can contribute to the study of the human condition and the social processes in which media are entangled.

This is an indispensable teaching resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students and an essential text for scholars working across the areas that media anthropology engages with, including anthropology, sociology, media and cultural studies, internet and communication studies, and science and technology studies.

Chapters 7, 12 and 15 (CC-BY-NC-ND) and Chapter 6 (CC-BY-ND) of this book are freely available as downloadable Open Access PDFs at https://www.taylorfrancis.com.

part I|46 pages


chapter 2|14 pages

Indigenous Media

Anthropological Perspectives and Historical Notes

part II|224 pages


part A|54 pages

Media as Infrastructure

chapter 4|12 pages

“Here, Listen to My CD-R”

Music Transactions and Infrastructures in Underground Hip-Hop Touring

chapter 5|12 pages

“Technology is Wonderful Until It Isn't”

Community-Based Research and the Precarity of Digital Infrastructure

chapter 6|14 pages

Media Migration

chapter 7|14 pages

The Digitally Natural

Hypomediacy and the “Really Real” in Game Design

part B|66 pages

Media as Practice

chapter 9|13 pages

Television is Not a Democracy

The Limits of Interactive Broadcast in Japan

chapter 10|12 pages

Producing Place through Play

An Ethnography of Location-based Gaming

chapter 11|14 pages

PhotoMedia as Anthropology

Towards a Speculative Research Method

chapter 12|12 pages


Studying Digital Content with a Media Practice Approach

part C|60 pages

Media as Materiality

chapter 14|13 pages

Anthropology and Digital Media

Multivocal Materialities of Video Meetings and Deafness

chapter 15|16 pages


Data Centre Labour and the Maintenance of Media Infrastructure

part D|42 pages

Media as Representation

chapter 17|13 pages


Visual Economies of Leisure and Labour in the Tourist Encounter

chapter 18|14 pages

Postcolonial Digital Collections

Instruments, Mirrors, Agents

part III|296 pages

Thematic Considerations

part A|42 pages


chapter 20|12 pages

“Friends from WeChat groups”

The Practice of Friendship via Social Media among Older People in China

chapter 22|15 pages

Narratives of Digital Intimacy

Romanian Migration and Mediated Transnational Life

part B|50 pages

Social Inequality and Marginalisation

chapter 23|12 pages

Mediating Hopes

Social Media and Crisis in Northern Italy

chapter 25|13 pages

In This Together

Black Women, Collective Screening Experiences, and Space-Making as Meaning-Making

chapter 26|11 pages

Black Gamer's Refuge

Finding Community within the Magic Circle of Whiteness

part C|46 pages

Identities and Social Change

chapter 27|14 pages

Inking Identity

Indigenous Nationalism in Bolivian Tattoo Art

chapter 29|15 pages

The Hall of Mirrors

Negotiating Gender on Chilean Social Media

part D|54 pages

Political Conservatism

chapter 32|11 pages

Researching Political Trolls as Instruments of Political Conservatism in Turkey

A Historical Framework and Methodological Reflections on a Discourse Community

chapter 33|14 pages

Performing Conservatism

A Study of Emerging Political Mobilisations in Latin America using “Social Media Drama” Analysis

part E|38 pages


chapter 35|13 pages

Queer and Muslim?

Social Surveillance and Islamic Sexual Ethics on Twitter

chapter 36|12 pages

Queer Sousveillance

Publics, Politics, and Social Media in South Korea

part F|64 pages

Emerging Technologies and Contemporary Challenges

chapter 37|13 pages

The algorithmic silhouette

New Technologies and the Fashionable Body

chapter 38|12 pages

Unlocking heritage in situ

Tourist Places and Augmented Reality in Estonia

chapter 39|13 pages

Precarity, discrimination and (in)visibility

An Ethnography of “The Algorithm” in the YouTube Influencer Industry

chapter 41|11 pages

Ethnography of/and Virtual Reality

chapter |5 pages