Vance's CALL resources page | esl_home index
Return to Papyrus News Archive Main Page

Papyrus News

The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach


June 26, 2000: This message was distributed by Papyrus News, a free e-mail distribution list on the global impact of information technology on language, literacy, and education. Feel free to forward this message to others, preferably with this introduction. For information on Papyrus News, including how to (un)subscribe or access archives, see <>.


I had a look at this new book's Website.  The introductory chapter is online, and is an interesting read.  The authors make the point, that I strongly agree with, that notions of "cyberspace" and "virtuality" are overplayed, and that we need to understand the significance of the Internet in people's real day-to-day lives....mark


The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach -- new book and website

Daniel Miller, University College London and Don Slater, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Published by Berg, Oxford UK.

Available now!

This pathbreaking book is the first comprehensive study of Internet culture and consumption. A rich ethnography of Internet use in Trinidad, the book offers a sustained account not just of being online, but of the social, political and cultural contexts which account for the contemporary Internet experience.

>From cybercafes to businesses, from middle class houses to squatters' settlements, from the political economy of Internet provision to the development of ecommerce, the authors have gathered a wealth of material based on fieldwork in Trinidad. Looking at the full range of Internet media - including websites, email and chat - the book brings out unforeseen consequences and contradictions in areas as varied as personal relations, commerce, nationalism, sex and religion.

This is the first book-length treatment of the impact of the Internet on a particular region. By focusing on one place, it demonstrates the potential for a comprehensive approach to new media. It points to the future direction of Internet research, proposing a detailed agenda for comparative ethnographic study of the cultural significance and effects of the Internet in modern society. Clearly written for the non-specialist reader, it offers a detailed account of the complex integration between on-line and off-line worlds.

This book should be of interest to anyone concerned about the Internet and computer mediated communications, as well as people interested in consumption, development, globalization and the Caribbean.

And visit our website: - This contains over 2,000 pages of websites that constitute a 'virtual Trinidad' and allows the reader to visit significant parts of our research site. The site also houses a discussion forum on Internet research, the first chapter and summary of the book, links to on-line resources, and ordering information.

Copies may also be ordered at a discount via our website:


Don Slater, Senior Lecturer

Department of Sociology  Goldsmiths College University of London

Lewisham  Way, New Cross, London  SE14 6NW

Tel: 0171-919-7715   Fax: 0171-919-7713   ICQ#: 23891970

Use your browser's BACK button to return to a previous page

For comments, suggestions, or further information on this site, contact Vance Stevens, webmaster. Regarding content of Papyrus-News, contact Mark Warschauer.

Last updated: July 15, 2000 in Word 2000