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Dr Tom McDonald
UCL Department of Anthropology
14 Taviton Street
  • Research Associate
  • Dept of Anthropology
  • Faculty of S&HS
Research Summary

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 particularly on the rapidly changing consumptive, spending and exchange practices occurring within China, and the effects this has on family relations, household economies and broader society.

I have recently completed an 18-month period of ethnographic fieldwork on social media use in a small rural Chinese town as part of the UCL Global Social Media Impact Study and am currently working on publications related to this research. I write regularly about my research on the project blog page.

I have also 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 the diffusion of innovative ecological tourism practices in the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces UNESCO World Heritage site. Publications on this are forthcoming.

Social media: Twitter | Flickr | LinkedIn

Teaching Summary

I have taught on a number of modules delivered by the UCL Department of Anthropology. I have co-convened the Anthropology of Media and Mass Consumption module for Masters students; and have also acted as a Teaching Assistant for the first year undergraduate course Introduction to Material Culture. In addition, I have also taken part in the teaching of the Anthropological Research Methods and Anthropology of Social Media modules.

Academic Background
2013 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Anthropology University College London
2009 MRes Master of Research – Anthropology University College London
2007 BSc Bachelor of Science – Anthropology University College London
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