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DSOC 25A04 - Digital Data in a Societal Context

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2019-2020

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Pre-requisite

The only prerequisite is “Introduction to Sociology”

Course Description

Can Twitter hashtags or Uber metrics represent society? How vulnerable or valuable is online data as information, given fake news and internet hacks? We will contextualize digital data to understand its benefits and limitations, particularly with generalizability. Students will learn how inequality, institutions and ideology may influence Big Data (and small). The inequality segment will examine class, gender, and race in digital data production and impact, such as online harassment. Corporate and civic institutions also influence digital data, so we will unpack institutional effects, from Facebook to the State. Finally, political ideology shapes how data is created and seen, so we will unravel how political campaigns and movements produce and distribute digital data. The course will interrogate the broader role of technology in society and tie current cases with long-standing sociological debates, methods and theories.

Teachers

SCHRADIE, Jen (Assistant Professor)

Course validation

This interactive course will consist of five measures of learning, consisting of class participation; reading and media responses and comments; facilitated group work; data download and preliminary analysis of social media content; and a final presentation and paper with students' data using the theories generated from this class.

Required reading

  • Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, by Safiya Noble, 2018, NYU Press.
  • Computational Propaganda: Political Parties, Politicians, and Political Manipulation on Social Media, by Samuel C. Woolley and Philip N. Howard, 2018, Oxford University Press.
  • The Cleaners, a documentary by filmmakers Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck about content moderators for social media corporations.
  • Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media, Roberts, Sarah T., 2019, Yale University Press.
  • Benjamin, Ruha. Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, Polity Press, 2019.

Additional required reading

  • Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, by Safiya Noble, 2018, NYU Press.
  • Does AI Have Gender, Gina Neff, Oxford Internet Institute - video
  • The Cleaners, a documentary by filmmakers Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck about content moderators for social media corporations.
  • Other media will also be assigned and outlined in the syllabus.