How do your hashtags make the world you live in?
Consider how you use facebook, twitter, whatsapp, or instagram. How many times in a day do you use social media platforms? How are you digitally networked? How do certain issues trend (e.g. #metoo)? How do you participate in events, issues or trends on social media? Once events or issues trend on social media, they may find their way into print or television, which you access on your personal device. How are social media platforms used by activists to highlight injustice or give momentum to social and political movements? How is ‘user-generated’ content also used for both profit and surveillance?
Learn to examine how these networks made of emotions, communications, identity assertions, activisms, and data harvesting & surveillance techniques form a media ecology. Consider how these issues, events or trends criss-cross (trans) national borders. What factors complicate these transnational crossings? How do colonial and postcolonial contexts or gender or race or class or sexuality, complicate these crossings? Learn to think through the ways in which human-technology relations are made and remade through ‘transnational media ecologies.’
Bring your digital smarts to this module, and we will work together to understand 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.
For the assessments in this module, you can explore events that you know about or are interested in. To date, podcasts and 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 issues through digital media and (post) colonial theories; an innovative combination in sociology.
This module might particularly appeal to those interested in digital 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.