Jenna Burrell

Cite as:

Okune, Angela. 2018. "Jenna Burrell." In STS in "Africa" Personal Careers. In STS in "Africa" in Formation, created by Angela Okune and Aadita Chaudhury. In STS Across Borders Digital Exhibit, curated by Aalok Khandekar and Kim Fortun. Society for Social Studies of Science. August.


Jenna Burrell is an Associate Professor in the School of Information at UC Berkeley. Her first book Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafes of Urban Ghana (The MIT Press) came out in May 2012. She has a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics. Before pursuing her PhD she was an Application Concept Developer in the People and Practices Research Group at Intel Corporation. For over 10 years she studied the appropriation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) by individuals and groups on the African continent. Her most recent research considers populations that are excluded from or opt-out of Internet connectivity in urban and rural California.

This PECE essay helps to answer the STS Across Borders analytic question: “What people, projects, and products exemplify how this STS formation has developed over time?”

This essay highlights prominant and upcoming individuals working on critical science and technology issues in Africa and is part of a broader exhibit on "STS in Africa."

STS Across Borders In Brief

STS Across Borders is a special exhibit organized by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) to showcase how the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) has developed in different times, places...Read more

Burrell, Jenna. 2012. Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafes of Urban Ghana. Acting with Technology. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Abstract: "The urban youth frequenting the Internet cafés of Accra, Ghana, who are decidedly not members of their country's elite, use the Internet largely as a way to orchestrate encounters across distance and amass foreign ties—activities once limited to the wealthy, university-...Read more

Burrell, Jenna. 2009. “The Field Site as a Network: A Strategy for Locating Ethnographic Research.” Field Methods 21 (2): 181–99.

AO: This 2009 paper by Jenna Burrell explores strategies devised by researchers to map social research onto spatial terrain. She focuses in particular on the logistical issues involved and practical steps to constructing virtual and networked sites into "field sites". This article includes...Read more

Burrell Syllabus for "INFO 203. Social Issues of Information" (UC Berkeley)

AO: This syllabus taught in Spring 2018 and published on the UC Berkeley website of Jenna Burrell highlights important works for understanding social issues related to information.Read more

Source: Jenna Burrell

Visit Jenna's Flickr page for more photos from her fieldsite.

Visit Jenna Burrell's website for more press coverage and details on earlier work.

Cultural Anthropology: Behind the Screens: Jenna Burrell

Because of its video content, it is advised you interact with the Cultural Anthro piece directly here:

Presentation at BU (2013) on "Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafés of Urban Ghana"

Jenna Burrell on "Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafés of Urban Ghana"