Dr McDonald, Tom 湯浩然
I am a media anthropologist dedicated to using ethnographic engagement to achieve a richer understanding of how digital technologies, media and material culture come to mediate ongoing transformations in the communicative practices, economic behaviours, social relationships and human subjectivities of people in China and beyond. I joined the HKU Department of Sociology in August 2015. Prior to this I was a Research Associate at the Department of Anthropology, University College London.
My first solely-authored monograph, Social Media in Rural China: Social Networks and Moral Frameworks (2016, UCL Press), details the findings of 15-months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Chinese countryside, examining how social media use reconfigures social relations and morality. A separate co-authored volume, How the World Changed Social Media (2016, UCL Press) details the wider findings of the larger comparative UCL Why We Post study, to which my ethnography formed a central contribution.
My research increasingly focuses on economic concerns, reflecting the rapid convergence between digital money and media in China. My current project examines the adoption of digital money platforms amongst migrant factory workers in China and documents the effects such platforms have across a range of everyday exchange practices and infrastructures, with a particular focus on consumption, savings, investment, and remittances.
|Term Period||Position||Professional Societies|
|03/2012 - 08/2017||Fellow||Royal Anthropological Institute (UK)|
|01/2014 - 08/2017||Member||European Association of Social Anthropologists|
|Spoken Language(s) (EN)||Spoken Language(s) (ZH)|
|Written Language(s) (EN)||Written Language(s) (ZH)|
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