Course Description

MIT 3433F-001 (Fall 2018)   Special Topics in MIT: Digital Intimacy: Navigating Social Relations in Digital Worlds

Instructor: A. Quan-Haase

Course Description
In this course we will examine a wide range of technologies that support social relations and explore how relations between humans and technology create different kinds of cultures or "technocultures". We will look at early text-based technologies such as instant messaging as well as image-based social media platforms such as Snapchat. Students will acquire cutting-edge knowledge of new social trends and phenomena linked to how social relations are established, maintained, and dissolutioned in technosocial spaces. We will examine a diverse set of social relations ranging from intimate, romantic relations to new types of socialization with artificial intelligence. This course will investigate how technology is becoming interwoven in the very social structure of society. We will examine various platforms and the social consequences these have had for our understanding of friendship, trust, and community. Our aim is to not only have a good understanding of the theories of social relations, but also of the methodological approaches that exist to study how social networking unfolds. We will also examine the challenges that society faces in the advent of new forms of socialization, in particular increased feelings of loneliness, fragmentation, and alienation.

Course Outline for MIT 3433F-001 (Fall 2018)
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3 lecture hours, 0.5 course