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.

chapter |14 pages


ByElisabetta Costa, Patricia G. Lange, Nell Haynes, Jolynna Sinanan

part I|46 pages


chapter 1|16 pages

Media Anthropology and the Digital Challenge

ByMark Allen Peterson

chapter 2|14 pages

Indigenous Media

Anthropological Perspectives and Historical Notes
ByPhilipp Budka

chapter 3|14 pages

A Longitudinal Study of Media in Brazil

ByConrad Phillip Kottak, Richard Pace

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
ByAnthony Kwame Harrison

chapter 5|12 pages

“Technology is Wonderful Until It Isn't”

Community-Based Research and the Precarity of Digital Infrastructure
ByJerome Crowder, Peggy Determeyer, Sara Rogers

chapter 6|14 pages

Media Migration

ByPatricia G. Lange
Size: 0.36 MB

chapter 7|14 pages

The Digitally Natural

Hypomediacy and the “Really Real” in Game Design
ByThomas M. Malaby
Size: 2.39 MB

part B|66 pages

Media as Practice

chapter 8|13 pages

Media Practices and Their Social Effects

ByJohn Postill

chapter 9|13 pages

Television is Not a Democracy

The Limits of Interactive Broadcast in Japan
ByElizabeth A. Rodwell

chapter 10|12 pages

Producing Place through Play

An Ethnography of Location-based Gaming
ByKyle Moore

chapter 11|14 pages

PhotoMedia as Anthropology

Towards a Speculative Research Method
ByEdgar Gómez Cruz

chapter 12|12 pages


Studying Digital Content with a Media Practice Approach
ByChristoph Bareither
Size: 1.93 MB

part C|60 pages

Media as Materiality

chapter 13|15 pages

The Materiality of the Virtual in Urban Space

ByJordan Kraemer

chapter 14|13 pages

Anthropology and Digital Media

Multivocal Materialities of Video Meetings and Deafness
ByRebekah Cupitt

chapter 15|16 pages


Data Centre Labour and the Maintenance of Media Infrastructure
ByA.R.E. Taylor
Size: 3.53 MB

chapter 16|14 pages

Media Anthropology and Emerging Technologies

Re-working Media Presence
BySarah Pink, Yolande Strengers, Melisa Duque, Larissa Nichols, Rex Martin

part D|42 pages

Media as Representation

chapter 17|13 pages


Visual Economies of Leisure and Labour in the Tourist Encounter
ByJolynna Sinanan

chapter 18|14 pages

Postcolonial Digital Collections

Instruments, Mirrors, Agents
ByHaidy Geismar, Katja Müller

chapter 19|13 pages

Ethnographies of the Digitally Dispossessed

ByHeather Ford

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
ByXinyuan Wang

chapter 21|13 pages

Mediated Money and Social Relationships among Hong Kong Cross-Boundary Students

ByTom McDonald, Holy Hoi Ki Shum, Kwok Cheung Wong

chapter 22|15 pages

Narratives of Digital Intimacy

Romanian Migration and Mediated Transnational Life
ByDonya Alinejad, Laura Candidatu

part B|50 pages

Social Inequality and Marginalisation

chapter 23|12 pages

Mediating Hopes

Social Media and Crisis in Northern Italy
ByElisabetta Costa

chapter 24|12 pages

Digital Inequality and Relatedness in India after Access

BySirpa Tenhunen

chapter 25|13 pages

In This Together

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

chapter 26|11 pages

Black Gamer's Refuge

Finding Community within the Magic Circle of Whiteness
ByAkil Fletcher

part C|46 pages

Identities and Social Change

chapter 27|14 pages

Inking Identity

Indigenous Nationalism in Bolivian Tattoo Art
ByNell Haynes

chapter 28|15 pages

Being Known and Becoming Famous in Kampala, Uganda

ByBrooke Schwartz Bocast

chapter 29|15 pages

The Hall of Mirrors

Negotiating Gender on Chilean Social Media
ByBaird Campbell

part D|54 pages

Political Conservatism

chapter 30|14 pages

Media Anthropology and the Crisis of Facts

ByPeter Hervik

chapter 31|13 pages

Conspiracy Media Ecologies and the Case for Guerilla Anthropology

ByLeighton C. Peterson, Jeb J. Card

chapter 32|11 pages

Researching Political Trolls as Instruments of Political Conservatism in Turkey

A Historical Framework and Methodological Reflections on a Discourse Community
ByErkan Saka

chapter 33|14 pages

Performing Conservatism

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

part E|38 pages


chapter 34|11 pages

Algorithmic violence in everyday life and the role of media anthropology

ByVeronica Barassi

chapter 35|13 pages

Queer and Muslim?

Social Surveillance and Islamic Sexual Ethics on Twitter
ByBenjamin Ale-Ebrahim

chapter 36|12 pages

Queer Sousveillance

Publics, Politics, and Social Media in South Korea
ByAlex Wolff

part F|64 pages

Emerging Technologies and Contemporary Challenges

chapter 37|13 pages

The algorithmic silhouette

New Technologies and the Fashionable Body
ByHeather A. Horst, Sheba Mohammid

chapter 38|12 pages

Unlocking heritage in situ

Tourist Places and Augmented Reality in Estonia
ByChristian S. Ritter

chapter 39|13 pages

Precarity, discrimination and (in)visibility

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

chapter 40|13 pages

AI Design and Everyday Logics in the Kalahari

ByNicola J. Bidwell, Helen Arnold, Alan F. Blackwell, Charlie Nqeisji, |Kun Kunta, Martin Ujakpa

chapter 41|11 pages

Ethnography of/and Virtual Reality

ByLisa Messeri

chapter |5 pages


ByEric W. Rothenbuhler