Schedule

*All links were active as of 8/15/13. If you find a broken link, please let me know, and just read the pdf version provided via email. Readings that are not linked are only available in the textbook (Baym, Personal Connections) or provided PDFs.

Week 1 (9/4/13): Introductions

Objectives

  • Get acquainted with each other
  • Go over course outline
  • Get set up on WordPress and Twitter

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • Accept invitation to WordPress site
  • Set up Twitter account to be used with this course
  • Tweet @lportwoodstacer and @badger_cat introducing yourself
  • Tweet to your followers about #csmt13

Week 2: Defining “social media”

Objectives

  • Begin thinking about key concepts in the study of social media and culture, such as community, self, context collapse, privacy and publicity
  • Resist dichotomizing the online and offline realms
  • Historicize the emergence and reception of social media technologies
  • Understand defining features of online social networks

Readings

9/9/13
Finish watching “An Anthropological Introduction to Youtube”
Standage, “Social Networking in the 1600s”
Baym, Personal Connections in the Digital Age, Chapter 1
Donath, “Sociable Media”

9/11/13
Ellison & boyd, “Sociality through Social Network Sites”
Slater, “Social Relationships and Identity Online and Offline”

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets
  • Blog post 1

Week 3: Putting the social in social media

Objectives

  • Recognize discourses of new media technologies, especially technological determinism
  • Understand and recognize defining features of communities
  • Begin thinking about issues in mediated interpersonal relationships

Readings
9/16/13
Baym, Personal Connections in the Digital Age, Chapters 2 and 3

9/18/13
Baym, Personal Connections in the Digital Age, Chapters 4-7

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets
  • 5 blog response tweets

Week 4: Networks, publics, and communities

Objectives

  • Differentiate between strong, weak, and latent ties, and how online social networks play into each type of relationship
  • Understand the concept of social capital and how online social networks are used to build bridging, bonding, and maintained social capital.
  • Understand the relationship between imagined audience and practices of self-presentation, and how users navigate context collapse
  • Recognize the role of commercialism in the constitution of online communities

Readings

9/23/13
Haythornthwaite, “Social Networks and Internet Connectivity Effects”
Ellison, Vitak, Gray, & Lampe, “Cultivating Social Resources on Social Network Sites”

9/25/13
Marwick & boyd, “I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context Collapse, and the Imagined Audience”
McLaine, “Ethnic Online Communities: Between Profit and Purpose”

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets

Week 5: Social Media and the Self

Objectives

  • Understand how concepts of narrative, self-presentation, performance, and facework play into the construction of identity
  • Begin to think about how surveillance and publicity might shape behaviors and self-presentation
  • Understand the relationship between taste and identity, and recognize examples of taste statements in online profiles

Readings

9/30/13
Papacharissi, “Without You, I’m Nothing: Performances of the Self on Twitter”
Weber & Mitchell “Imaging, keyboarding, and posting identities: Young people and new media technologies”

10/2/13
Lim, Vadrevu, Chan, & Basnyat, “Facework on Facebook: The Online Publicness of Juvenile Delinquents and Youths-at-Risk”
Liu, “Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances”

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets
  • Blog post 2

Week 6: Midterm week (midterm held on 10/9/13)

Objectives

  • Catch up on all reading material
  • Review for midterm exam

Readings

10/7/13
Anything you need to read/re-read

10/9/13
Notes & readings for midterm

Assignments (due by midnight before next Wednesday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets

Week 7: Identity and Display

Objectives

  • Define and recognize instances of “heterosexy” and “grotesque” modes of self-presentation
  • Understand the cultural significance of self-branding, especially in the context of post-feminism

Readings

10/14/13
None (no class – Fall Break)

10/16/13
Dobson, “The ‘Grotesque Body’ in Young Women’s Self Presentations on MySpace”
Banet-Weiser, “Branding the post-feminist self: Girls’ video production and Youtube”

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets
  • 5 blog response tweets

Week 8: Panics and Violence

Objectives

  • Understand the relationship between public discourses of social media use and user experience
  • Recognize and critique moral panics around youth media use
  • Consider how violence might be defined and responded to in online contexts

Readings

10/21/13
Willett, “‘As Soon as You Get on Bebo You Just Go Mad’: Young Consumers and the Discursive Construction of Teenagers Online”
Hasinoff, “Sexting as Media Production”

10/23/13
Dibbell, “A Rape in Cyberspace”

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets

Week 9: Trolls and LOLs

Objectives

  • Learn to identify and contextualize practices of trolling and hate speech in online social networks
  • Think critically about humor and its uses in social network contexts

Readings

10/28/13
Phillips, “LOLing at Tragedy: Facebook Trolls, Memorial Pages and Resistance to Grief Online”
Walsh, “Men Who Hate Women on the Web”

10/30/13
To be announced

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets
  • Blog post 3

Week 10: Celebrity and activism

Objectives

  • Define and identify the practice of celebrity in social media networks
  • Understand how celebrity can be mobilized for activist causes

Readings

11/4/13
Marwick & boyd, “To see and be seen: Celebrity practice on Twitter”
Tufekci, “Not This One: Social Movements, the Attention Economy, and Microcelebrity Networked Activism”

11/6/13
none – guest speaker

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets
  • 5 blog response tweets
  • Decide on book review book with your group

Week 11: Surveillance and Privacy

Objectives

  • Define and recognize surveillance in social media networks
  • Differentiate between different kinds of surveillance and the purposes/effects of each
  • Define and identify “transaction-generated information”
  • Differentiate between “authentic” and “corrupt” segmentation of users
  • Consider the ethical issues involved in surveillance and data aggregation

Readings

11/11/13
Humphreys, “Who’s Watching Whom? A Study of Interactive Technology and Surveillance”

11/13/13
Gandy, “Matrix Multiplication and the Digital Divide”

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets
  • Blog post 4
  • Obtain book review book

Week 12: Labor and Exploitation

Objectives

  • Define and understand key terms in critiques of social media labor and exploitation, such as “free labor,” “immaterial labor,” “affective labor,” “reproductive labor,” “digital enclosure,” “alienation”
  • Recognize how social media platforms engender and exploit user-generated content and user-generated data

Readings

11/18/13
Terranova, “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy”
Andrejevic, “Exploiting YouTube: Contradictions of User-Generated Labor” (pp. 406-423 in YouTube Reader)

11/20/13
Get through at least the first half of your book review book

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets
  • 5 review book response tweets (can be done in class on 11/20)
  • Individual notes on review book must be posted to class blog by class time on Monday, 11/25

Week 13: Resistance and Refusal

Objectives

  • Learn reasons that may account for differential rates of adoption/rejection of social media services
  • Understand strategies of resistance and the limitations of abstention

Readings

11/25/13
Finish book review book and bring notes to class

11/27/13
Hargittai, “Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users of Social Network Sites”
Portwood-Stacer, “Media Refusal and Conspicuous Non-Consumption: The Performative and Political Dimensions of Facebook Abstention”

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets
  • Book review blog post

Week 14: Social Media Research Methods

Objectives

  • Read and discuss book reviews
  • Consider various methodologies of social media research

Readings

12/2/13
none

12/4/13
To be announced

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s class)

  • 2 weekly tweets

Week 15: Wrap-up

Objectives

  • Compare relative advantages and disadvantages of various research methods
  • Understand how studies from across the course have utilized research methods
  • Go over final exam

Readings

12/9/13
To be announced

12/11/13
Any readings you need to catch up on

Assignments (due by midnight before next Monday’s exam)

  • 2 weekly tweets

Final exam 12/16/13, 8-9:50am

  • Final is open note – bring all materials in printed format to exam