Undergraduate Module Descriptor
SOC3130: Digital Society
This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.
|Term(s) and duration|
This module will run during term 1 (11 weeks)
Dr Niccolo Tempini (Convenor)
|Available via distance learning|
In this module, we will explore the social context that has led to the widespread diffusion of digital technology, Internet networks and information systems, and the ways in which everyday life and the organisation and structures of society have been changing in association with these and other developments, and the rising prominence of data and algorithms (and associated rankings, scores and classifications) as devices of social organisation, representation and action. These are key topics of our time and their importance can be appreciated by looking at the range of society-adjectives that scholars have coined to capture some of the most salient aspects: blackbox society, search engine society, database society, surveillance society, platform society, audit society, information society, control society, and others.
We will explore key works in the social studies of digital technology and information, and the arising challenges for digital sociology and social science scholarship. You will read key critical works, discuss harms and opportunities of contemporary developments in seminar discussions and case studies, and will take part in exercises of speculative systems design to try and imagine a better future. This module is suitable for non-specialists and interdisciplinary pathways.