Social/Media: Critical Inquiries into Internet Cultures
Compare offerings and share your lists with others.
Social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and others permeate our society and daily lives. You may check one or more of these platforms regularly to keep up with friends, communities, or news – or notice their increasing importance in social groups, popular culture, and politics. And yet we rarely step back to examine the structure of these ubiquitous websites and how we use them. In this half-time (8 credit) daytime program, we will critically explore a selection of social media sites and phenomena through theory, media studies, cultural studies, and anthropology. How do these technologies offer new opportunities for individual well-being, creative work, and social action? In what ways do they represent enhanced forms of distraction, surveillance, exploitation, and inequality? Centering on the notion of the digital “commons”, we will consider the possibilities for shared cultivation of knowledge, art, and community via online platforms.
Program activities include seminar on academic readings, computer labs to analyze websites under study, essay and response writing assignments. Students will take a qualitative, ethnographic approach to social media, through a careful documentation and analysis of particular digital sites and situations. Ethnographic work will culminate in a short audio podcast; as part of this work, students will gain proficiency in the use of audio recording equipment and audio editing software.
Class Size: 50
Scheduled for: Day
Located in: Olympia
Spring 2020: Contact faculty or check offering in Canvas for first class meeting date and time.