Destabilizing Platforms: Experiencing Facebook on the Melanesian Margins of Global Capital

Hobbis, G. (Invited speaker), Stephanie Ketterer Hobbis (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic presentationAcademic


    Part of a larger project aimed at understanding global digital transformations through a classically conceived Melanesian ethnography, this paper calls on Platform Studies to consider indigenous voices from the margins of global capital. Among the Lau of Malaita, we find user-experiences that challenge prevailing expectations about, and social theories on, the centrality of quantification, textuality and capitalism in encounters with, in this case, Facebook. How Islanders exchange both information and gifts on Facebook reveals platformization as a process that builds on, and strengthens, local systems of moral social reproduction rather than subverting them through capitalist exploitation and data colonialism.
    Held atLondon School of Economics, Department of Anthropology, United Kingdom