Dr Jolynna Sinanan

BCA (Melbourne), BA(Hons)(ANU), PhD (Melbourne)
Research Fellow in Digital Media and Ethnography

A20 - John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone 02 8627 0136

Biographical details

Jolynna Sinanan is Research Fellow in Digital Media and Ethnography in the Department of Communications at the University of Sydney. Previously, she was Vice Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow at RMIT University and Research Fellow in Anthropology at University College London. Jolynna joined the department in February, 2018.

Research interests

Jolynna Sinanan (PhD) is Research Fellow in Digital Media and Ethnography at the University of Sydney. She has an interdisciplinary background in anthropology and development and her research focusses on digital media practices in relation to regionally comparative mobilities, family relationships, work and gender. Her books include Social Media in Trinidad (UCL Press, 2017), Visualising Facebook (Miller and Sinanan, UCL Press, 2017), Webcam (Miller and Sinanan, Polity, 2014) and How the World Changed Social Media (Miller et. al. 2016, UCL Press).She is on the editorial board of Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration (Intellect Books).

Current projects

  • Non-resident Work: A study of mobile and digital Families

This project investigates the role of digital media (smartphones, laptops and other mobile devices) in the lives of non-resident (FIFO: fly-in, fly-out, DIDO: drive-in, drive-out and BIBO: bus-in, bus-out) workers in the Australian resource extraction industry. It focusses on workers and their families in Queensland, the state with the country’s second highest number of non-resident workers. By bringing together digital ethnography and labour migration research, this pilot study investigates the everyday strategies, opportunities and challenges associated with using digital media to sustain family life, care and intimacy at a distance.

  • Visualising Everest: The impact of digital media in the Himalayan tourism industry

In the wake of the Mount Everest avalanches of 2014 and again in 2015 due to the Nepal earthquake, the state government and private telecommunications corporations have made a committed effort to increase digital connectivity in the largely remote and underdeveloped Khumbu region. This recently improved mobile communications infrastructure has had a twofold effect: a dramatic increase in the number of tourists arriving in the region between 2016 and 2018. And secondly, the increase in tourists has influenced the demand for temporary workers such as guides and porters in the region’s tourist industry. This project provides a comparative case study to my work on mobile media and mobile livelihoods in the Queensland mining industry. It draws on digital ethnography and labour migration research to engage with guides, porters, small trekking companies and tourists. The project aims to investigate the role of digital media in everyday strategies of mobile workers and in shaping the images of Everest that draw tourists to the region.

In the media

Selected publications

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Books

  • Hjorth, L., Pink, S., Horst, H., Kato, F., Zhou, B., Sinanan, J., Ohashi, K. (2020). Locating the Mobile: Understanding Mundane Locative Media Practice in Households (forthcoming). United Kingdom: Palgrave Pivot.
  • Sinanan, J. (2017). Social Media in Trinidad. London: UCL Press.
  • Miller, D., Sinanan, J. (2017). Visualising Facebook. London: UCL Press.
  • Costa, E., Haynes, N., McDonald, T., Miller, D., Nicolescu, R., Sinanan, J., Spyer, J., Venkatraman, S., Wang, X. (2016). How The World Changed Social Media. London: UCL Press.
  • Miller, D., Sinanan, J. (2014). Webcam. Polity Press.

Book Chapters

  • Pink, S., Sinanan, J., Horst, H., Hjorth, L. (2019). Sensory encounters and mobile technologies: Mundane intimacies as a site for knowing. In Maya Halatcheva-Trapp, Giulia Montanari, Tino Schlinzig (Eds.), Family and Space: Rethinking Family Theory and Empirical Approaches, (pp. 99-108). Oxford and New York: Routledge. [More Information]
  • Cruz, E., Noske-Turner, J., Sinanan, J. (2019). Vignethnographies: a method for fast, focused and visual exploration. In Barbara Barbosa Neves, Frank Vetere (Eds.), Ageing and Digital Technology - Designing and Evaluating Emerging Technologies for Older Adults, (pp. 115-131). Singapore: Springer Singapore. [More Information]
  • Hjorth, L., Pink, S., Horst, H., Sinanan, J., Ohashi, K., Kato, F., Zhou, B. (2018). Beyond Emoji Play: Paralinguistics and Intergenerational Care-at-Distance. In Catherine Gomes, Brenda S. A. Yeoh (Eds.), Transnational Migrations in the Asia-Pacific: Transformative Experiences in the Age of Digital Media, (pp. 129-151). London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Sinanan, J., Hjorth, L. (2018). Careful families and care as 'kinwork': an intergenerational study of families and digital media use in Melbourne, Australia. In Barbara Barbosa Neves, Claudia Casimiro (Eds.), Connecting Families?: Information & Communication Technologies, generations, and the life course, (pp. 181-199). Bristol: Policy Press. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J., McDonald, T. (2018). Ethnography. In Jean Burgess, Alice Marwick, Thomas Poell (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Social Media, (pp. 179-195). London: Sage. [More Information]
  • Miller, D., Costa, E., Haapio-Kirk, L., Haynes, N., McDonald, T., Nicolescu, R., Sinanan, J., Spyer, J., Venkatraman, S., Wang, X. (2018). Why We Post-a team approach to research dissemination. In Vincent C. H. Tong, Alex Standen, Mina Sotiriou (Eds.), Shaping Higher Education with Students: Ways to Connect Research and Teaching, (pp. 265-269). London: UCL Press. [More Information]
  • McDonald, T., Nicolescu, R., Sinanan, J. (2016). Small places turned inside out: social networking in small communities. In Larissa Hjorth, Heather Horst, Anne Galloway and Genevieve Bell (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography, (pp. 89-101). New York: Routledge.
  • Sinanan, J. (2016). Social media and sorting out family relationships. In Sharon Y. Tettegah (Eds.), Emotions, Technology, and Social Media, (pp. 63-82). London: Elsevier. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J. (2015). Xin yimin: "New" Chinese migration and new media in a Trinidadian town. In Wanning Sun and John Sinclair (Eds.), Media and Communication in the Chinese Diaspora: Rethinking Transnationalism, (pp. 203-219). London: Routledge. [More Information]

Journals

  • Miller, D., Costa, E., Haapio-Kirk, L., Haynes, N., Sinanan, J., McDonald, T., Nicolescu, R., Spyer, J., Venkatraman, S., Wang, X. (2019). Contemporary Comparative Anthropology - The Why We Post Project. Ethnos, 84(2), 283-300. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J. (2019). Visualising intimacies: The circulation of digital images in the Trinidadian context. Emotion, Space and Society, 31, 93-101. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J. (2018). A History of the Convergence of Ethnography, Cultural Studies and Digital Media. Cultural Studies Review, 24:2, 181-183. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J. (2018). Book review: Social Media Abyss: Critical Internet Cultures and the Force of Negation. Media International Australia, 167(1), 198-199. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J., Hjorth, L., Ohashi, K., Kato, F. (2018). Mobile Media Photography and Intergenerational Families. International Journal of Communication, 12, 4106-4122.
  • Sinanan, J., Hosein, G. (2017). Non-activism: Political Engagement and Facebook through Ethnography in Trinidad (forthcoming). Social Media + Society, 3(3), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J. (2016). Book Review: Victoria Sanford and Asale Angel-Ajani (eds), Engaged Observer: Anthropology, Advocacy and Activism. Qualitative Research, 16(4), 477-478. [More Information]
  • Pink, S., Sinanan, J., Hjorth, L., Horst, H. (2016). Tactile digital ethnography: Researching mobile media through the hand. Mobile Media & Communication, 4(2), 237-251. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J., Connor, G., Jie, K. (2014). Crafted assemblage: Young women's 'lifestyle' blogs, consumerism and citizenship in Singapore. Visual Studies, 29(2), 201-213. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J. (2011). Nation, modernisation and civilisation: Development and the emergence of a transformed cambodian state. Global Discourse, 2(2), 34-56. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Sinanan, J. (2009). Lenders, borrowers and fellows: Personal narrative and social entrepreneurship in online microfinance. OZCHI 2009 Australian conference on Computer-Human Interaction 21st Annual Conference of the Australian Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (CHISIG) of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA), Melbourne: Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (CHISIG). [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J. (2008). Social tools and social capital: reading mobile phone usage in rural indigenous communities. 20th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (OzCHI 2008) Designing for Habitat & Habitus, Cairns, Australia: ACM New York, NY, USA. [More Information]

Working Paper Internal

  • Miller, D., Sinanan, J. (2012). Webcam and the Theory of Attainment. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J. (2010). Missionaries and Misfits: Expatriate Networks in the Field.

Report

  • Schubert, V., Sinanan, J. (2008). My Moola: Opening Financial Pathways.

2020

  • Hjorth, L., Pink, S., Horst, H., Kato, F., Zhou, B., Sinanan, J., Ohashi, K. (2020). Locating the Mobile: Understanding Mundane Locative Media Practice in Households (forthcoming). United Kingdom: Palgrave Pivot.

2019

  • Miller, D., Costa, E., Haapio-Kirk, L., Haynes, N., Sinanan, J., McDonald, T., Nicolescu, R., Spyer, J., Venkatraman, S., Wang, X. (2019). Contemporary Comparative Anthropology - The Why We Post Project. Ethnos, 84(2), 283-300. [More Information]
  • Pink, S., Sinanan, J., Horst, H., Hjorth, L. (2019). Sensory encounters and mobile technologies: Mundane intimacies as a site for knowing. In Maya Halatcheva-Trapp, Giulia Montanari, Tino Schlinzig (Eds.), Family and Space: Rethinking Family Theory and Empirical Approaches, (pp. 99-108). Oxford and New York: Routledge. [More Information]
  • Cruz, E., Noske-Turner, J., Sinanan, J. (2019). Vignethnographies: a method for fast, focused and visual exploration. In Barbara Barbosa Neves, Frank Vetere (Eds.), Ageing and Digital Technology - Designing and Evaluating Emerging Technologies for Older Adults, (pp. 115-131). Singapore: Springer Singapore. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J. (2019). Visualising intimacies: The circulation of digital images in the Trinidadian context. Emotion, Space and Society, 31, 93-101. [More Information]

2018

  • Sinanan, J. (2018). A History of the Convergence of Ethnography, Cultural Studies and Digital Media. Cultural Studies Review, 24:2, 181-183. [More Information]
  • Hjorth, L., Pink, S., Horst, H., Sinanan, J., Ohashi, K., Kato, F., Zhou, B. (2018). Beyond Emoji Play: Paralinguistics and Intergenerational Care-at-Distance. In Catherine Gomes, Brenda S. A. Yeoh (Eds.), Transnational Migrations in the Asia-Pacific: Transformative Experiences in the Age of Digital Media, (pp. 129-151). London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Sinanan, J. (2018). Book review: Social Media Abyss: Critical Internet Cultures and the Force of Negation. Media International Australia, 167(1), 198-199. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J., Hjorth, L. (2018). Careful families and care as 'kinwork': an intergenerational study of families and digital media use in Melbourne, Australia. In Barbara Barbosa Neves, Claudia Casimiro (Eds.), Connecting Families?: Information & Communication Technologies, generations, and the life course, (pp. 181-199). Bristol: Policy Press. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J., McDonald, T. (2018). Ethnography. In Jean Burgess, Alice Marwick, Thomas Poell (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Social Media, (pp. 179-195). London: Sage. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J., Hjorth, L., Ohashi, K., Kato, F. (2018). Mobile Media Photography and Intergenerational Families. International Journal of Communication, 12, 4106-4122.
  • Miller, D., Costa, E., Haapio-Kirk, L., Haynes, N., McDonald, T., Nicolescu, R., Sinanan, J., Spyer, J., Venkatraman, S., Wang, X. (2018). Why We Post-a team approach to research dissemination. In Vincent C. H. Tong, Alex Standen, Mina Sotiriou (Eds.), Shaping Higher Education with Students: Ways to Connect Research and Teaching, (pp. 265-269). London: UCL Press. [More Information]

2017

  • Sinanan, J., Hosein, G. (2017). Non-activism: Political Engagement and Facebook through Ethnography in Trinidad (forthcoming). Social Media + Society, 3(3), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Sinanan, J. (2017). Social Media in Trinidad. London: UCL Press.
  • Miller, D., Sinanan, J. (2017). Visualising Facebook. London: UCL Press.

2016

  • Sinanan, J. (2016). Book Review: Victoria Sanford and Asale Angel-Ajani (eds), Engaged Observer: Anthropology, Advocacy and Activism. Qualitative Research, 16(4), 477-478. [More Information]
  • Costa, E., Haynes, N., McDonald, T., Miller, D., Nicolescu, R., Sinanan, J., Spyer, J., Venkatraman, S., Wang, X. (2016). How The World Changed Social Media. London: UCL Press.
  • McDonald, T., Nicolescu, R., Sinanan, J. (2016). Small places turned inside out: social networking in small communities. In Larissa Hjorth, Heather Horst, Anne Galloway and Genevieve Bell (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography, (pp. 89-101). New York: Routledge.
  • Sinanan, J. (2016). Social media and sorting out family relationships. In Sharon Y. Tettegah (Eds.), Emotions, Technology, and Social Media, (pp. 63-82). London: Elsevier. [More Information]
  • Pink, S., Sinanan, J., Hjorth, L., Horst, H. (2016). Tactile digital ethnography: Researching mobile media through the hand. Mobile Media & Communication, 4(2), 237-251. [More Information]

2015

  • Sinanan, J. (2015). Xin yimin: "New" Chinese migration and new media in a Trinidadian town. In Wanning Sun and John Sinclair (Eds.), Media and Communication in the Chinese Diaspora: Rethinking Transnationalism, (pp. 203-219). London: Routledge. [More Information]

2014

  • Sinanan, J., Connor, G., Jie, K. (2014). Crafted assemblage: Young women's 'lifestyle' blogs, consumerism and citizenship in Singapore. Visual Studies, 29(2), 201-213. [More Information]
  • Miller, D., Sinanan, J. (2014). Webcam. Polity Press.

2012

2011

  • Sinanan, J. (2011). Nation, modernisation and civilisation: Development and the emergence of a transformed cambodian state. Global Discourse, 2(2), 34-56. [More Information]

2010

  • Sinanan, J. (2010). Missionaries and Misfits: Expatriate Networks in the Field.

2009

  • Sinanan, J. (2009). Lenders, borrowers and fellows: Personal narrative and social entrepreneurship in online microfinance. OZCHI 2009 Australian conference on Computer-Human Interaction 21st Annual Conference of the Australian Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (CHISIG) of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA), Melbourne: Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (CHISIG). [More Information]

2008

  • Schubert, V., Sinanan, J. (2008). My Moola: Opening Financial Pathways.
  • Sinanan, J. (2008). Social tools and social capital: reading mobile phone usage in rural indigenous communities. 20th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (OzCHI 2008) Designing for Habitat & Habitus, Cairns, Australia: ACM New York, NY, USA. [More Information]

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