SO234 Half Unit
Digital Technology, Speed and Culture
This information is for the 2018/19 session.
Prof Judy Wajcman STC S203
This course is available on the BSc in Sociology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.
No specific pre-requisites, but this course is only open to second and third year students in Sociology and other programmes. It is not available as a first year option.
This course aims to give students a detailed understanding of sociologically informed approaches to the social studies of science and technology. It will consider how macro theories of post-industrial society (from Bell to Castells) have conceptualised the role of technology in social change. It will then look at the development of STS as a field that highlights the constitutive role of objects and artefacts in social relations. In other words, it will reflect upon sociology’s traditional neglect of the social life of things or materiality. These broad themes will then be elaborated substantively. First, by considering the role of technology in reconfiguring time, speed, space and mobility. Second, by considering power relations and social inequalities embedded in digital technologies, such as the Internet and mobile phones. Third, by treating technology as a culture that shapes gender identities, such as those that find expression in the virtuality of cyberspace. The course will draw on examples from a variety of domains including information and communication technologies, robotics, cyborgs, sex, and weapons.
10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT.
Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.
Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.
ONE formative essay of 1,200 words will be due at the end of Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.
MacKenzie, D. and Wajcman J. (1999) The Social Shaping of Technology (MIT Press).
Suchman, L. (2007) Human-Machine Configurations (CUP)
Turkle, S. (2011) Alone Together (Basic Books)
Wajcman, J. (2015) Pressed for Time (Chicago University Press)
Wajcman, J. (2014) TechnoFeminism (Polity Press).
Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the MT.
The course is assessed by ONE summative essay of 3,000 words that is worth 100% of the total mark.
Assessed essay due Thursday of Week 11 of MT. Two hard copies of the assessed essay, with submission sheets attached to each, to be handed in to the Administration Office, S116, no later than 16:30 on the day of submission. An additional copy to be uploaded to Moodle no later than 18:00 on the same day.
Total students 2017/18: Unavailable
Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable
Capped 2017/18: No
Value: Half Unit
- Team working
- Application of information skills