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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Sociology

Undergraduate Course: Digital Culture (SCIL10079)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is about digital technologies and the ways in which they shape society and culture. The course examines how social spaces, relationships and activities are mediated by and through digital technologies.
Course description This course will explore the ways in which digital technologies have transformed the way we experience our social lives and have shaped the ways in which we connect (and disconnect) with each other and wider society. The course will examine claims that we now live in a ┐networked society┐, an ┐information society┐ or a ┐digital age┐ and will explore the ways in which our social spaces, relationships and activities are mediated by and through digital technologies.
The course will draw on some key sociological themes: community, the self, gender, consumption, power, and exclusion, and use these to evaluate the extent to which contemporary culture is digitally mediated.

The course involves one two-hour session every week. The first hour will be an interactive lecture. The second hour will be student-led seminar sessions. Every student will be responsible for running a seminar as part of a group. The group task is to engage everyone in the key readings for the week. All students are expected to do the assigned readings in advance and arrive fully prepared to participate.

1. Introduction: The sociology of digital culture

2. Space, place and digital community

3. The digitally mediated self: Identity and social media

4. Digitally mediated relationships: Connecting and disconnecting

5. Consuming digital culture I: Prosumption and new media forms

6. Consuming digital culture II :Digital music

7. Consuming Digital culture III: Virtual worlds and digital games

8. Surveillance, hacking, privacy and data

9. Politics, activism, clicktivism and digital media

10. Globalisation and the digital divide

11. Revision
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 2 social science courses (such as Sociology, Politics, Social Policy, Social Anthropology, etc) at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of some of the main terminology, theoretical perspectives and disciplinary boundaries of the sociology of digital culture.
  2. Students will be able to understand and critique a range of digital cultures and assess the ways in which our social spaces, relationships and activities are digitally mediated.
  3. Students will understand the relationship between culture(s) and digital technologies and understand the ways in which they can enable and constrain us.
  4. Students will be able to identify, conceptualise and analyse complex sociological problems and issues related to digital culture.
  5. Students will be able to critically evaluate the transformative, utopian and dystopian claims surrounding debates about digital transformation.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills ┐ Apply different theories to the interpretation and explanation of social processes or structures;
┐ Recognise and account for the use of such theories by others;
┐ Evaluate, critique, and build on the work of sociology scholars;
┐ Discuss and assess empirical evidence and theoretical argument in a clear and reasoned way;
┐ Understand the ethical implications of sociological enquiry;
┐ Formulate sociologically informed questions including competence in using major theoretical perspectives and concepts in sociology, and their application to social life;
┐ Judge the value and relevance of empirical evidence and theoretical argument and interpretation in sociology;
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Kate Orton-Johnson
Tel: (0131 6)51 1230
Course secretaryMiss Joanne Blair
Tel: (0131 6)50 4457
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