Engagement has its consequences: the emergence of the representations of archaeology in social media

Isto Huvila

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    Even if social media is often seen mainly as an instrument for outreach from the archaeologists to the public, it is a two- way channel of communication and a context for participation and negotiation that consists of an information infrastructure, content and participants. This article discusses the consequences and implications of the bidirectionality of social media. The discussion is based on an empirical study of the representations and reappropriations of archaeology in four different social media services (Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, Pinterest). The analysis shows how the popular and scholarly archaeological information is appropriated in the social media services and how the efforts to engage people lead to a double bind of engagement. People engage archaeologists but also other members of the public to participate in an exchange of knowledge and negotiation of the nature and relevance of archaeology. The findings of the study shed light on the emerging patterns of how the use of social media can affect not only the popular ideas of archaeology and the contexts of its relevance, but also archaeological knowledge (i.e. what is known and what is desirable to be known), its documentary representations and the essence of the archaeological work itself.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)
    JournalArchäologische Informationen: Mitteilungen zur Ur- und Frühgeschichte
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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