Self, Society, and the Digital Tsunami era
Dr Yurni Said-Sirhan

Cyberbullying, cyber-racism, online falsehoods are social phenomena that can be observed online. In an era of overwhelmingly diverse viewpoints within social media platforms, how has digital communication shaped, as well as changed the way we relate, and respond to each other as human beings? In this course, students will be introduced to the genre of academic expository writing through engagement with discussions on digital cultures. Digital technology is inseparable from our lives now, to the point that we become almost incapacitated the moment technology fails. Given the pervasiveness of digitalization, we cannot deny that digital culture affects the way we understand, and operate in the world today. There are implications on social interactions that arise from digital communication. Drawing on the social constructionist perspective, this course helps students explore how ideas are formed, debated and transmitted in an age where human interaction is constantly mediated by technology. The topics discussed in this course draw upon some key ideas in linguistics, sociology, as well as cultural studies. Concepts such as online self-presentation, digital communities of practice as well as digital participatory culture will be used to frame our discussion of issues that are related to social media interactions. Critical reasoning, as well as the essentials of research writing, such as identifying gaps in the discussions about issues in digital cultures, substantiating arguments with evidence from primary and secondary sources, evaluating the strengths of arguments, and avoiding confirmation bias are central to this course. In developing these skills, students will also learn to articulate their ideas clearly, and formulate their arguments cogently in speech and writing.


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