Second Life Anthropology

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'Coming of Age in Second Life' is the first book of anthropology to examine this thriving alternate universe.Tom Boellstorff conducted more than two years of fieldwork in Second Life, living among and observing its residents in exactly the same way anthropologists traditionally have done to learn about cultures and social groups in the so. His husband, Bill Maurer, is Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Dean of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human (Princeton University Press, 2008, Second Edition 2015). 'Boellstorff makes important contributions to ethnographic theory and method while providing a fascinating excursion into a virtual world, Second Life, inhabited by graphic manifestations of real-life people who interact with one another in localized parts of a vast virtual landscape that they themselves have largely created.

Second Life Anthropology Jobs

This engagement is achieved in the virtual world of Second Life, a world where participants can defy gravity, embarking on flights to exotic locales (sans technological assistance), discovering and experimenting with sexuality and gender, cultivating friendships unconstrained by physical limitations in real life and disregarding boundaries of time and geographical distance. Jessica Falcone, assistant professor of sociology, anthropology and social work, studies South Asian cultures and religions, particularly Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism. Several of her current research projects focus on Buddhist communities, particularly the growing presence of Buddhism in the world of virtual reality. Users of Second Life.

‘Coming of age in Second Life’ By Tom Boelstorff arrived in my mailbox yesterday. I didn’t get to read more than a few chapters before a thought kept creeping back into my head: Why don’t i take a little peek to see what its all about. And so i did. And i enjoyed it. Thoroughly.


Second Life Anthropology Definition

Doing fieldwork on the internet is a whole new world opening up to me. (Although i admit that the opportunity has been there for a long time). Never has it been easier to seek out a field than in an online context. It is just a few clicks with your mouse, and swosh, you are there.

Of course, it is not without constraints. One thing that i did notthink through before joining Second life is the fact that you can only ‘arrive’ at your field once! For the first time that is. Perhaps i should have done a little more research before doing so. After all, usually you know quite a deal about the subject of your study before jumping into it.


But done is done. I was lucky to meet someone who could help me out early on. It is just this: I am left wondering, ‘who is this someone that i met?’ In the world of online anonymity you never know for sure. And as this particular person pointed out to me, some people enjoy inventing new and completely different personas from their real-life-selves. Identity is everything in Second Life – especially if it is not “your own”.

Second life anthropology definition

So at this point i might start by formulating research questions that has to do with identity. How do people create their online personas? What is important to them when doing so? Is the development their online personas or avatars go through having an effect on their real world lives, or is it merely an escape? Maybe a bit of both. I am still lost as to having any sort of questions ready, whatsoever. Though maybe that might be a good thing.

Second Life Anthropology Book

I’m sure we will get a lot of the answers to these questions and the ones that will follow soon by reading Coming of Age in Second Life, which i am about to do, of course. But in the coming weeks i might try to find out if i can identify at least some very broad sub-groups of the people who inhabit Second Life.

Second Life Anthropology Journal

Until then, please stay tuned. I will work vigilantly at making this site an at least interesting resource for those who are as amazed by the prospects of doing fieldwork online as i am.