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The Digital Dasein Of Chinese Rural Migrants

Wang, X; (2021) The Digital Dasein Of Chinese Rural Migrants. Sociologia e Antropologia , 10 (3) pp. 807-830. 10.1590/2238-38752020v1032. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper sets out to acknowledge the radical possibilities in the way in which human existence is perceived and constructed in the digital age. A 15-month ethnography, focused on the use of social media among Chinese factory workers, is employed to create a conversation with philosophical thoughts on human existence and anthropological thoughts on objectification. Social media is more than a form of communication, or a technology, that facilitates the connection between different locations. By exploring the three layers of existential experience of Chinese rural migrants in the context of ubiquitous social media use, this paper suggests that we might start to consider the degree to which digital media is itself a place in which people actually live and feel at home. The acknowledgement of such place-making via the digital allows us to re-think the relationship between the materiality and digital possibilities for human existence and further explore the fundamental process of objectification through the lens of digital anthropology.

Type: Article
Title: The Digital Dasein Of Chinese Rural Migrants
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1590/2238-38752020v1032
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1590/2238-38752020v1032
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Dasein; objectification; social media, digital anthropology; Chinese rural migrants; migration
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10152670
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