Digital Media and the Order of Ethnography: On Modes of Digitization in the Museum of World Culture


  • Andreas Henriksson Department of Sociology, Karlstad University, Sweden



Actor-Network Theory, digital media, information systems, digitization, the Museum of World Culture, John Law, ethnography


The article applies and elaborates an Actor-Network Theory approach to digitization. Defining digitization as the determining of relations between new digital media and old materials within local networks, the article attempts to investigate locally engendered ambiguities of such processes.

The model is applied in a case study of the Swedish Museum of World Culture and its attempt at renewing old ethnographic objects through the use of digital media. The study is comprised of several interviews, observations and extensive document analysis.

The article concludes by underlining the contingency and ambiguity involved in introducing digital media into the networks of old objects. It also addresses the cohesive and stabilizing roles played by computer programs and museum objects respectively.


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How to Cite

Henriksson, A. (2009) “Digital Media and the Order of Ethnography: On Modes of Digitization in the Museum of World Culture”, Culture Unbound, 1(1), pp. 205–226. doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.09112205.