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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Gender and Sexuality in Digital Culture
Module Code CM346
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Debbie Ging
Semester 2: Debbie Ging
Autumn: Debbie Ging
Module TeachersDebbie Ging
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module explores a broad range of issues relating to gender, sex and sexuality as they are mediated through various aspects of digital culture, from internet pornography and social networking sites to online dating and digital gender politics. Using theoretical frameworks taken from gender/sexuality studies as well as media studies, it explores the impact of recent social, economic and technological developments on sexual behaviour and intimacy, gender politics and sexual identity construction. It also critically considers policy responses to a number of issues of social concern, including pornography, the sexualisation of children, pro-anorexia and sexting.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the key changes that have occurred in the (mediated) construction of discourses around gender, sex and sexuality in recent decades, in Ireland and elsewhere
2. Develop an understanding of the technological affordances and algorithmic politics of digital media and their role in shaping communicative practices around sex, gender and sexuality.
3. Apply a range of media studies frameworks to a number of key case studies.
4. Analyse the dynamics and impact of hashtag campaigns, memes and other forms of political communication in the shaping of contemporary gender and sexual politics.
5. Design and produce your own digital/social media campaign to influence social attitudes about sex, gender, sexuality, sexual health, etc. and evaluate the strategy behind - and potential impact of - this campaign in relation to the relevant theoretical literature.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Class Presentation2No Description
Workshop4No Description
Independent Study80No Description
Total Workload: 110

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

What is digital culture?
Networked society, digital citizenship, access and digital divides; The algorithmic turn and new theoretical challenges for analysing media and culture - Technological, social and economic determinism - Political economies of digital culture(s)

Key shifts in gender politics
From feminism to postfeminism, from modernity to postmodernity; From the political to the cultural – debates around identity politics and intersectionality - New and old feminisms, digital feminism

Cybernetics, artificial intelligence and posthumanism
Erasure of the body? Circuits of disembodiment and reimbodiment; What implications for intimacy and ethics (cybersex, online dating, sexbots)? - What implications for gender and sexual politics and identity

Case Study 1: Online dating
Mediated intimacy, relationshopping and the commodification of intimacy; Neuroscience, genetics and big data; Mobile dating and hook-up apps: conceptual and methodological frameworks

Case Study 2: Online gender politics
Gamergate, the Manosphere and MRAs versus SJWs: how did we get here?; Networked affect, affective publics, the politics of emotion, the culture wars - Memes, Campaigns and hashtag politics

Case study 3: Online pornography: from social problem to cultural critique...and back to social problem?
Cultural, economic, historical and legal contexts; Pornography in the digital economy: produsers, DIY and the collapse of private-public and real-representational boundaries - Theoretical approaches, methodologies, research ethics

Case study 4: Pro-anorexia image sharing
Technological affordances of social media and online community structures and dynamics

Case study 5: Sexting, image sharing and digital ethics
Policy responses, safety campaigns and sexual double standards

Workshop 1
Creating your own digital campaign

Workshop 2
Creating your own digital campaign

Class presentations
Presentation of campaign ideas

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Digital ProjectStudents must design a social media campaign, including a detailed report outlining their rationale, objectives, strategy and choice of platform.100%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

    Other Resources

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