Fuentes_COMM_397M_SP09_2 - COMM. 397M: NEW MEDIA...

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1 C OMM . 397M: N EW M EDIA T ECHNOLOGIES AND S OCIAL C HANGE UMass-Amherst, Spring 09 TU & TH, 2:30 - 3:45 pm., Machmer Hall E37 Professor Martha Fuentes-Bautista TA: Thanu Yakupitiyage Office: 308 Machmer Office: Machmer E36 Phone: (413) 545-3455 Phone: TBA mfuentes@comm.umass.edu tyakupit@comm.umass.edu Course description and objectives. This course addresses the main debates and perspectives on the economic and social transformation associated with the spread of new media technologies, from various forms of collaborative and social media, to mobile phones and wireless broadband delivery systems. This class will introduce you to recent developments in cultural production brought about by new media, as well as to strategic modes of using these technologies for social change. Assuming a social shaping of technology approach, we will examine topics such as: emerging peer to peer networks and new forms of social and cultural production; mobile communications, social mobilization and political protest; and broadband delivery systems, social inequalities and the digital divide. The course will provide participants with tools to critically assess and engage these debates, identifying their implications for social research and public policy. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to: Understand main theoretical approaches to the study of the relation between information and communication technologies (ICT) and society; Identify structural transformations and trends associated to changes in cultural production, as enabled by peer-to-peer and social media technologies; and Identify and critically discuss major ICT-related social issues in contemporary society, and describe the various perspectives that characterize current debates on those issues. Office Hours. Martha Fuentes’ office hours are Wednesday 3-5:00 p.m. and TH 4-6:00 p.m. I will be happy to make alternate appointments if you truly cannot make those hours. For an appointment, call during office hours or see me after class. Thanu Yakupitiyage’s office hours will be announced. Please note, I check for, and respond to emails several times a day from Monday to Friday, but I do not check emails so often during weekends or holidays. Therefore, if you send me an email on Saturday, Sunday, or during a holiday break, chances are that you will not get a reply from me until the following business day. Finally, though Thanu and I use email for making appointments and other practical details of the class, we cannot advise students, review exams or grades, discuss course material and assignments by email. Please see us in our offices. Course Materials . This course draws from a wide range of literature on technology, social theory and public policy. There is a required book for this course: Lessig, L. (2008) Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy . NY: The Penguin Press. Used and new copies of the book are available at Food for Thought Books on North Pleasant
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Fuentes_COMM_397M_SP09_2 - COMM. 397M: NEW MEDIA...

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