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What have we learnt this week?

1) This week we started with the question of what we could learn from a country that used different social media platforms?

But we soon found that this task was complicated by the major differences between our two Chinese fieldsites - one of which focused upon tradition and the other was creating itself through online imaginations of who they could become.

2) We then used the variety of Chinese social media to make a more general point about Polymedia and the way people are judged by which social media they use.

3) One of the big differences between our two Chinese fieldsites was in attitudes to education. This reflected a wider spectrum from places where social media is seen mainly as distraction from education to places where social media is viewed as a primary source of education

4) The Chinese context also helped us appreciate that social media is likely to impact on commerce mainly through the way social and personal connections become incorporated into commercial activity.

5) Finally, we were able to see how for some in China social media represented their first experience of privacy as compared to fieldsites such as England, where the primary concern about social media is that it represents a threat to privacy

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Why We Post: the Anthropology of Social Media

UCL (University College London)

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