Tag: Twitter

Trolling and the Alt-Right in Japan (Part 1)

I was only a couple of months into my fieldwork when I met Masa. I had been focusing my attention on innovation and politics within the major Japanese TV networks, but he drew my attention to a different kind of media organization: The Free Press Association of Japan, now defunct. At the time, he identified with its founder, Takashi Uesugi, who had made a name for himself as one of the country’s most prominent crusaders for Japanese journalism reform. Masa liked anyone who flouted convention, and the mainstream media’s disparagement of Uesugi for not having attended a high-ranked university only served to endear him further to Masa, who himself had not attended college. It was from Masa that I first heard about chemtrails (kemutoreiru) – the notion that the white trails that aircraft leave in their wake represent a chemical form of meteorological or biological manipulation. He began forwarding me articles and links to documentaries exposing Japanese (more...)

What Can Twitter Do to/for the Field?

By Andrea Ballestero, Baird Campbell, and Eliot Storer* Between June 15 and 22, 2015, a group of anthropologists and graduate students convened by the Ethnography Studio linked our fieldsites via Twitter. The experiment, entitled “Ethnography Studio in the Field: #ESIFRice,” was designed to open conversations about how being in the “field” might shape the ways in which we conceptualize our problems of inquiry. How are the problems that mobilize us imagined once we are “in situ”? So we set up a structure for a parallel co-inhabitation of different sites. Each participant tweeted from her own location and with her own research interests in mind. The idea was not to establish a single multisited space or a joint research project but to keep the separation between sites alive, while linking them as an attempt to think together. If there was any purpose to the experiment, we could say that it was (more...)

Twitter Hashtags, Emotion and The Resonance of Social Protest

There is something strikingly similar between the events taking place in Turkey and in Brazil. It is the momentum, intensity and force of these uprisings. It is the connection between profoundly context specific roots of social unrest and broader global political issues. In this post I want to focus on the issue of social media technologies. This is not to propose yet again a techno-deterministic analysis on social media and social protest. In fact, as argued elsewhere, in the understanding of the relationship between Web 2.0 technologies and social movements it is of fundamental importance that we move beyond techno-deterministic analyses that emphasize pervasiveness, agency and change (Barassi, 2012, Barassi and Treré, 2012, Barassi, 2013). What I want to do in this post is to consider the events in Turkey and Brazil by raising some points on the connection between social media, collective emotion and transnational resonance. In order to (more...)