Technology Culture and Power: Global Perspectives

Module code: MS3010

Module co-ordinator: Dr Tracy Simmons

Module Outline

The internet has prompted fresh thinking about the social implications of technological change. What kind of communications revolution does it herald and what are the conceptual tools we need to understand it? These are central questions addressed in this module, which examines how the interaction of technological and cultural processes helps to explain power in the global system. More specifically, these debates are exploring technology at the ‘micro’ level (identity, the self etc) and the 'macro' (global institutions, corporations etc).

We will consider technology in relation to states and markets as well as the detailed ways in which it links them, and we will examine how technology is central to an historical understanding of globalisation particularly in the context of the key 20th century concepts of ‘modernisation’ and ‘development’. We will also assess the complexities of cultural exchange in the contemporary media and services era and their technological characteristics.

Topics covered

  • Gender, sexuality and technology
  • Blogging
  • Virtual worlds and identity
  • Consumption
  • Intellectual property rights

Learning

  • 10 three-hour lectures

Assessment

  • Essay, 3,000 words (40%)
  • Exam, three hours (40%)
  • Seminar presentation (20%)