Networks 2 - Participation, Power and Inequality in Networks

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Networks 2 - Participation, Power and Inequality in Networks

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Communication Studies, Media Studies, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Networks 1

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    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

    Written and/or oral examination

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