Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello internet. I am Dr Crystal Abidin. I grew up in Singapore, immigrated to Australia, and am now working in Sweden. I was trained in anthropology & sociology, and media & communications. Professionally, I am a socio-cultural anthropologist who studies young people’s vernacular internet cultures. Personally, I love the internet so much I found a way to make a living out of it as an internet researcher. But what you really need to know about me is I love good music, penguins, and Pusheen. I also have a traveling pet penguin that you should come say hi to at the AoIR conferences: https://www.instagram.com/thetravelingpingu/
What is your AoIR Executive Committee position?
Open Seat Member
What motivated you to serve on the Executive Committee for AoIR?
The AoIR are a good people. I met many of my most loved and trusted colleagues-turned-friends at AoIR, and experienced mentorship and sponsorship from senior scholars I never thought I would be able to connect with if not for the organization’s accessible and inclusive atmosphere. I’d like to reciprocate the goodwill and mentorship I have experienced thus far, by sustaining these awesome feels and frames for cohorts of young scholars joining us (i.e. “The Internet Cult”).
How long have you been involved with AoIR? How many conferences have you attended?
Tartu 2017, Berlin 2016, Arizona 2015, Daegu 2014
What is/are your current research interests?
My cornerstone anthropological work has been on young people’s relationships with internet celebrity, self-curation, and vulnerability. My sociological work focuses on identity-making among mixed race persons in Singapore and Australia. Recently, I have been writing about the virality of young children on social media, young people’s expression of grief on the internet, and practices of young coupling in East Asia. My newest research looks at digital labour and the Influencer industry in Sweden and Scandinavia. I also secretly want to write a legit research paper on Pusheen soon.
What is your favorite meme or YouTube video? Please provide a link to it if you can.
Have you ever seen a pet penguin who lives with humans and roams human streets with its penguin backpack to hold fish for itself because homgh now you have and you’re welcome: