Dr McDonald, Tom
My main research interests are focused on the material culture of everyday life in modern China. My work is dedicated to using ethnographic engagement to achieve a richer understanding of how the material world is affecting society, social relationships and kinship.
My research focusses on the rapidly transformation of consumptive, spending and exchange practices within China, and its effects on family relations, household economies and broader society.
My first co-authored book How the World Changed Social Media was published free and Open Access by UCL Press in February 2016. It details the findings of the UCL Why We Post project, an ERC-funded comparative ethnographic study on the use and consequences of social media around the world. I personally undertook 15-months ethnographic fieldwork examining social media use in a small rural Chinese town as part of this study.
My own separate solely-authored monograph Social Media in Rural China detailing the findings of my own fieldwork, which will also be published through UCL Press in 2016. I write regularly about my research on the project blog page.
I have also co-created and will be teaching a new, free interactive course named Why We Post: The Anthropology of Social Media on the FutureLearn platform, in collaboration with UCL throughout 2016. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about our research and I warmly welcome enyone with an interest in social media and people to register for the course today!
In addition, I have recently concluded a visiting scholar position at Minzu University of China where I am involved in a side-project funded by the Chinese Government examining innovative ecological tourism practices in the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces UNESCO World Heritage site.
|Term Period||Position||Professional Societies|
|03/2012 - 08/2016||Fellow||Royal Anthropological Institute (UK)|
|01/2014 - 08/2016||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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