MDS-20036 - Social Media and Society
Coordinator: Eva Hs Giraud Tel: +44 1782 7 34258
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21

None

Available as a Free Standing Elective

Yes

Co-requisites

None

Prerequisites

None

Barred Combinations

None

Description for 2020/21

This module engages in debates about the role of digital media in society, by examining the significance of social media for communication, culture, and the creative industries. It provides conceptual tools for analysing the implications of social media, with an emphasis on the relationship between digital media technologies, identity and politics. We will engage with a series of examples - ranging from Instagram influencers to the mining of personal data, and from misogyny on Twitter to racial bias in algorithms - in order to make sense of the social and ethical challenges posed by digital culture. The module is designed to deepen understanding of core media and cultural theories through applying these theories to contemporary engagements with social media. At the same time, we will also critically engage with new research in media and cultural studies that has focused on issues surrounding software, online representation, and digital infrastructures, and assess the value of this research for making sense of the contemporary media environment.

Aims
This module will enable students to understand and evaluate contemporary debates about the role of digital media in society, through examining the significance of social media for communication, culture, and the creative industries. It will provide conceptual tools for analysing the implications of social media, with an emphasis on the relationship between digital media technologies, identity and politics.
The module aims to deepen students┐ critical engagement with core media and cultural theories through applying these theories to contemporary engagements with social media.
The module will also enable students to use new research in media and cultural studies that has focused on issues surrounding software and digital infrastructures, to analyse the contemporary media environment.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.
http://lists.lib.keele.ac.uk/modules/mds-20036/lists

Intended Learning Outcomes

demonstrate an understanding of, and evaluate, contemporary debates about the role of digital media in society: 1,2
apply core, longstanding media and cultural theories to contemporary examples of social media use and evaluate the ongoing relevance of these theories: 1
demonstrate an understanding of, evaluate and apply, contemporary media and cultural studies research, which has focused on digital media technologies: 1,2

Study hours

12 hours lectures
12 hours seminars
66 hours seminar/lecture preparation
40 hours essay writing
20 hours glossary preparation

School Rules

None

Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 70%
2,000-word essay
The essay requires students to evaluate a particular debate related to the social implications of digital media technologies. Students will select from a series of approximately 8 questions, each of which asks them to take a stance on contemporary debates about the social implications of an aspect of social media. They will be asked to evaluate these debates by drawing on relevant theoretical work and contemporary research in the field. Questions will also specify the type/number of examples that students are expected to focus on for their given question.

2: Workbook weighted 30%
A glossary consisting of 4 (250 word) definitions of key concepts from the module.
Students have to develop a glossary consisting of 4 short (250 word) definitions of concepts from the module. The concepts included have to be selected from 4 different weeks of the module. Each definition has to engage with at least 2 readings from the course reading list to support students' explanations.