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Chapter 1

SOC 3116 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Old Media, New Media, Peer Pressure

Course Code
SOC 3116

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A critical approach to tech and society:
- Learning objectives:
o To develop a better appreciation for how much we rely on electronic technologies
o To implicate today’s actions in the technology of the future (technology is not a force of
nature, we do not have to adapt to technology, we do have to adapt to the weather –
we do not have to accommodate technology, it should be accommodating us –
technology is created in order to serve us)
- Look at the broader structure of technologies the car, not just how it’s used
individually, but
the overall impact, the infrastructure that has come with it, etc. – also things such as the
on the environment and other things
- Course is focused on the way that technology shapes our social reality
- Ways in which tech shapes what we see, do and think:
o Tech always says its making our lives easier, not always true
o Information is not always questioned (“I heard it on the news”) – lack of accountability,
greater exposure
o Peer influence about our use of tech social exclusion if you don’t have the latest
o Led to believe that it enhances communication
o Implicit in marketing is that “everyone” must have whatever the new thing is
o Social networks – (re)presentation
o Impacts on education
o Entertainment impact
- To challenge our complacency
- To impact its usefulness – if it doesn’t work, then change it so that it does work
- To enhance our awareness of how much we rely on technology
- To get our heads outside of the box of popular messaging about technology
News media and social media:
- Old media – one way communication – from the center out to the masses
- New media (social media) – it is potentially 2 way communication
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