Networks 2 - Participation, Power and Inequality in Networks
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Area of Study
Communication Studies, Media Studies, Sociology
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
A. Knowledge and understanding
Students will have basic knowledge and understanding of:
- the nature of communication in social media - mechanisms behind the adoption of social media
- the consequences of the rise of social media for relationships between individual users and social structures
- the ways in which social media are used in strategic communication
B. Applying knowledge and understanding
Students will have the ability to:
- give a reasoned account of the consequences of the rise of social media for social structures and relationships between individuals and institutions
C. Making judgments
Students will have the ability to
:- distinguish popular opinions on the consequences of the rise of social media from scientifically supported research outcomes and theoretical statements
D. Learning skills.
Students will be able to:
- develop and communicate a standpoint based on scientific reasoning (theoretical reasoning, empirical support)
Social media are a driving force behind today’s network society. Although digitally enabled networks have been around ever since the onset of the internet, the massive adoption of online networks like Twitter and Facebook is unprecedented. They enable people and organizations to connect and communicate at low costs and thus facilitate building and maintaining relationships. Yet, they also shape how users – individuals as well as organizations – communicate, which information they receive and, consequently, how individuals relate to social structures.
In this course, we will explore how social media affect the relationships between individuals and social structures. We will discuss the reasons behind the rapid and large scale adoption by their users, in terms of both how social media are perceived as instrumental for individual motives and goals, and the ways in which social network sites evoke and cater to these needs. We will explore the how social network sites shape the communication networks of individuals and organizations, and of individuals in organizations. The course will also address current questions regarding big data produced by social media, the privacy dilemma’s that big data pose, and the research possibilities and ethical questions they pose for social science.
Lectures, working groups, once every two weeks, in-class assignments
TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
Written and/or oral examination
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Some courses may require additional fees.