Digital Culture | Alberto Acerbi

Digital Culture


The diffusion of digital technologies triggered a radical departure from previous modalities of cultural transmission but, at the same time, general characteristics of human cultural evolution and cognition influence these developments. This chapter explores some areas where the contacts between cultural evolution research and digital media seem promising. As cultural evolution-inspired research on Internet phenomena is still limited, these areas represent suggestions and links with works in other disciplines more than reviews of past research in cultural evolution. These include topics such as how to conceptualize social influence online and how information spreads in social media; how digital media could enhance cumulative culture; and the differences between online and offline cultural transmission. The chapter will then briefly consider possible future directions: the influence of different affordances in different media supporting cultural transmission; the role of producers of cultural traits; and, finally, the effects on cultural dynamics of algorithms selecting information.

Acerbi A. (2023), Digital Culture, in Tehrani, J. et al. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Evolution, Oxford University Press, pp. C41S1 - C41S10
Alberto Acerbi

Cultural Evolution / Cognitive Anthropology / Individual-based modelling / Computational Social Science / Digital Media