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Transnationalism and New Media (SO341-15)

How do your #s make the world you live in? Did you know Facebook researches posts to know something about the emotional lives of Facebook users? Or that #s allow African Americans to express solidarity with Palestinian struggle?

Bring your digital smarts to this module, and we will work together to understand this world in sociological terms. We will look at ways in which governments, media, activists, corporations and people compete to influence the way you click, think, lol, love, hate, vote or want to change the world.

Consider how many people use Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp. How many times of day do we use it – 10? 20? more, 30? The world is now this network -- people linking in, sharing things, which sometimes trend. Once events or issues suddenly trend on Twitter or Facebook, they may find their way into television news, The Guardian or The New York Times. Or anyone of us could potentially post something to a friend on Twitter, and it could cause a political incident in Mozambique.

We are able to chart specific routes of how events circulate in new media; whether it is a particular news item, whether it is a particular popular cultural phenomenon. We’ll view how things criss-cross national or cultural boundaries -- i.e., transnationalism. Or why they don’t travel at all. We’ll combine this with new media theory, including human-technology relations and how people function differently because of the types of technologies which we use.

For the assessments in this module, you can explore events that you know about or are interested in. To date, essays have been submitted on diverse topics including a campaign in Germany about refugees and race hate crimes, M.I.A and the circulation of her videos, and #blacklivesmatter. You’ll analyse these through new media and post-colonial theories; an innovative combination in sociology.

This module might particularly appeal to those interested in new media, or those looking for a module covering issues around race, gender, sexuality, geopolitical issues and post-colonial theory. We welcome students from outside Sociology who have an interest in these topics.


Module Director:

Goldie Osuri 

Timing and CATS

This module will run in the Autumn Term of hte 2016/17 academic year, and is worth 15 CATS.