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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Perspectives on the Networked Society
Module Code CM2008
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Alessio Cornia
Semester 2: Alessio Cornia
Autumn: Alessio Cornia
Module TeachersAlessio Cornia
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

To offer a range of theoretical perspectives to inform an understanding of the role of technology (and in particular media and communications technologies) in shaping modern society.

Learning Outcomes

1. Investigate whether the media which predominate at particular moments in history create specific modes of thought and, in turn, influence the shape of empires and civilizations;
2. Debate whether a shift away from manufacturing employment towards information-based employment necessarily leads to a better planned and more caring society;
3. Analyse how social forces interact with science and technology to shape the form and function of contemporary information and communication technologies;
4. Explain how global broadband infrastructures such as the internet reproduce and reconfigure existing social inequalities;
5. Analyse the effect of increasingly ubiquitous surveillance technology upon the behaviour of individuals;
6. Explain the societal impacts of recent developments, such as the rise of digital and social media platforms, which are disrupting markets and labour relations, as well as transforming social and civic practices and affecting the democratic process.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22No Description
Independent Study80No Description
Assignment Completion23No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Indicative content and topics
The module addresses the main theoretical traditions and authors that identify and explain the most consequential features of the society in which we live. The focus on concepts such as information society, network society and platform society will enable the development of a critical understanding of the circumstances and major changes that affect the way we live, work, socialize, and organise our social world. The following list is indicative of lectures content: • Foundations of the Information and Network Society • The Post-Industrial Society (Daniel Bell) • Technological Determinism (Harold Innis and Marshal McLuhan) and the Social Construction of Technology • The Surveillance Society (Michel Foucault) • Corporate Capitalism and Information (Hebert Schiller) • The Transformation of the Public Sphere (Jürgen Habermas) • The Network Society (Manuel Castells) • The Platform Society and Algorithm Power (José Van Dijck, Tarleton Gillespie, Frank Pasquale and others)

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentEssay (2,500-3,000 words) based on a single, widely interpretable, title100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Frank Webster: 2014, Theories of the Information Society, Fourth Edition, Chapters 1-4, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 13, Routledge, London,
  • José van Dijck, Thomas Poell, & Martijn de Waal: 2018, The platform society: Public values in a connective world, Oxford University Press, New York,
  • Harold A. Innis: 1986, Empire and Communications, Press Porcépic, Victoria,
  • Harold A. Innis: 2008, The Bias of Communications, Second Edition, University of Toronto Press, Toronto,
  • Marshall McLuhan: 1962, The Gutenberg Galaxy, University of Toronto Press, Toronto,
  • Marshall McLuhan: 2001, Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man, Routledge, London,
  • Daniel Bell: 1999, The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society, Basic Books, New York,
  • Brian Winston: 1998, Media, Technology and Society, Routledge, London,
  • Michel Foucault: 1991, Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, Penguin, London,
  • Jurgen Habermas: 1989, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Polity Press,
  • Manuel Castells: 1996, The Information Age Trilogy, Blackwell, Malde, Massachusetts,
  • Frank Pasquale: 2015, The black box society: The secret algorithms that control money and information, Harvard University Press,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BSSCIBA Social Sciences & Cultural Innovation
CSBA in Communication Studies

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