An everyday story of country folk online? The marginalisation of the internet and social media in The Archers

Lizzie Coles-Kemp, Debi Ashenden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we explore to what extent storylines about the internet and social media are absent or marginal in The Archers. In particular, we examine these storylines to better understand how the inhabitants of Ambridge interact online and how their online activities intersect with their real-world experiences. We compare what happens in The Archers with the moral panic that often characterises narratives of technology use and find a striking contrast that we argue supports a broader way of understanding and characterising practices of online safety and security. We analysed four social media related Archers’ storylines from the last 24 months. Our analysis shows that The Archers storylines enable us to look at human computer interaction in relief so that instead of only looking at how people use technology we can also see the context in which it is used and the usually unseen support structures. The Archers narratives also provide a rich picture of how the fixed-space of the physical world interacts with virtual space. In the broader context, the social media storylines provide us with an understanding of how connecting, care receiving and care giving take place in both fixed-space and virtual space and how these co-connected relationships of care-receiving and giving contribute to a form of security more expansive than technologically-enabled data protection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCustard, Culverts and Cake
Subtitle of host publicationAcademics on Life in The Archers
EditorsCara Courage, Nicola Headlam
PublisherEmerald Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78743-285-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-78743-286-4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2017

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