In 1999, I was approached to be part of a sociological study on Trinidad and the Internet. The researchers were Daniel Miller – Professor of Anthropology, University College London and Don Slater – Reader in Sociology, London School of Economics.
Ultimately titled The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach, my work on Trinidad-Online.org and De Rumshop Lime was featured in the chapter “Being Trini and Representing Trinidad” (I was given the pseudonym ‘Patricia’) 😉
‘Essentially thrilling … this is the best piece of research on social uses of the internet that I have come across. – ‘ The Independent
‘Now a remarkable new book has raised the discussion to a new level. – ‘ The Observer
‘The book is impressive, well argued and written … Indeed, this book is innovative and I would suggest that it is essential reading for all students and researchers examining the relationship between new internet technologies and society. – ‘ Sociology
‘Represents not only an important contribution to the proliferation of writings about the Internet, but also a timely lesson in the practice of ethnography … To use ethnography to such effect in studying this phenomenon provides a forceful argument for the role of anthropologists in understanding contemporary processes … In imagining the Internet in this way, and Slater not only make an ethnographic study of the Internet possible, but also suggest a new avenue for theorizing it. – ‘ Journal of the Royal Anthropologic
An examination of Internet culture and consumption. The Internet is increasingly shaping, and being shaped by, users’ lives. From cybercafes to businesses, from middle class houses to squatters settlements, the authors have gathered material on subjects as varied as personal relations, commerce, sex and religion. Websites are also analyzed as new cultural formations acting as aesthetic traps. At every point, email chat and surfing are found to be exploited in ways that bring out both unforeseen attributes of the Internet and the contradictions of modern life. The material, taken from ethnographic work in Trinidad, adds depth to earlier discussions about the Internet as an expansion of space, the changes it effects to time and personhood, and the new political economy of the information age. A tie-in with the book’s own website provides further illustrations.
About the Author
Daniel Miller is Professor of Anthropology, University College London. Recent books include ‘A Theory of Shopping’, ‘The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach’ (with Don Slater) and Ed. ‘Car Cultures’. Don Slater is Reader in Sociology, London School of Economics.