Why We Post

Digital methods for public anthropology

  • Laura Haapio-Kirk UCL


Based on ethnographic research on digital learning from the Why We Post project at UCL Anthropology, this paper outlines how academic insights can benefit pedagogy, reaching beyond traditional modes of education towards public engagement. The paper demonstrates how a spectrum of digital dissemination, ranging from the academic (such as journal papers) to the public (such as a website and MOOC), can transform anthropological research into global education at the same time as maintaining intellectual integrity. In an uncertain world, fear of 'the other' and anxiety around the rapid rise of technology permeates public discourse. Anthropological education offers an antidote by focussing on the culturally-constructed nature of dynamic phenomena shaping our world. In order to shift wider perspectives towards an appreciation of cultural diversity, this paper argues that public anthropology needs to be held in higher regard within the discipline.