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Sociology of the Internet and Identities
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New media

How to Cite

Chakravarty, Debjani. 2017. “Sociology of the Internet and Identities”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, December. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


This is a syllabus for a sociology course on new media and how it reshapes identities and societies. Ever since the internet became a domesticated technology through the creation of the World Wide Web in 1991, it started restructuring social institutions, reorganizing rules of interaction, and mediating personal/social relationships. This course traces...

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Subject Area(s):
Communication and Information Technologies
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
College 400
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

In this course we study new media—its past, present, and possible futures—by employing a sociological and historical perspective. We also use theories from various interdisciplinary fields including Communication Studies, Gender Studies, and American Studies. We take an intersectional approach to understanding new media; intersectionality is a feminist...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. To encourage critical and creative thinking in identifying and addressing the phenomenon of our online existence.
  2. To develop sociological insight and imagination pertaining to production and consumption of new media.
  3. To encourage application of sociological concepts and frameworks to the study of the Internet as a social phenomenon, and learn as well as contribute to existing knowledge on information and communication technologies.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Applying theories and case studies: students are asked discussion questions eliciting academic responses about current events and debates about the Internet, e.g. net neutrality.
  2. Journal assignment where students track and analyze their reaction to, use of, and relationship with new media. Some entries involve digital ethnography where students closely study the online environment as participant or non-participant observer.
  3. Write a paper using theories and methodologies learned in course to analyze a current event (e.g. role of new media in recent presidential elections; cyberbullying and doxxing; WikiLeaks; women and video games, etc.).Review books/films about the Interne

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