Decentering the discipline? Archaeology, museums and social media

Dominic Walker


In recent years archaeologists have asserted the value of social media for achieving goals such as ‘shared authority’ and the ‘empowerment’ of various communities. These assertions often resemble techno-utopian discourse. However, it is essential to critically consider these assertions with reference to the important studies emerging from the fields of new media studies and Indigenous and collaborative archaeology, which have particularly emphasised the need for a greater awareness of sociopolitical contexts. Informed by this literature, this paper surveys some of the emerging and established uses of social media by archaeologists and museums, and proceeds to introduce factors that challenge the broadly positive discourses about the impact of social media on various communities. It also highlights the need for short- and long-term impact studies.


Museums; Social Media; Internet Studies; Inequality; Collaboration; Authority

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ISSN: 2171-6315

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