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Short description: ‘Social Media and Society’ considers the role of networked communication technologies, social media, and specific platforms and applications in personal and societal life. It takes a sociological perspective on society (conceptualized via structure, agency, social institutions, inequality, social change and knowledges) and makes sense of social media via the concepts of affordances, platforms, connectivity, (in)visibility and user practices. Relying on relevant academic work that conceptualizes the social dynamics and implications of social media, we will explore the personal, social, economic, political and ideological aspects of living in networked, digitally saturated societies.

ESSAY details: 3000 – 3500 words, including references, use at least 4 scholarly references. Choose one of two topics:
– Different types of labor performed in a specific online community. You might choose a fan community, do-it-yourself interest group, political affinity group, or other networked public that participants use as a space for identity performance. Choose this option only if you are part of an online community the details of which you are happy to divulge, and you would not compromise the privacy or public reputation of other members. Please anonymize all names and only cite materials that do not require explicit granting of informed consent. Your analysis of specific types of labor (i.e. welcoming new participants, consoling unhappy members, policing language, amplifying leadership, serving as a repository of group memory, etc.) would draw upon existing scholarship about similar practices or online communities.
– How I exercise my agency while using social media. You may choose to focus on how platforms enable your political, social, sexual, or economic agency. Or you may choose to focus on how you exercise agency against the existing structures of social media. For example, circumvention techniques can be seen as an expression of agency, including getting around the terms of service, copyright rules, content moderation, or algorithms that
reveal or restrict your visibility. This writing assignment will take the form of an online multimodal essay that incorporates hyperlinks, timelines, maps, video, photographs, or other digital evidence, in addition to your scholarly sources. The Scalar platform is especially designed for this kind of multimodal academic writing. More information about Scalar is here: Please contact Professor for an access code, which needs to be used to set up your account as soon as you receive it from her. She will assist with any technical issues.
A sample project:
Please email by the end of this week with information about your
1. Paper topic
2. Research reading
3. Status of your Scalar account