Digital Culture and Media
AbstractThis course aims to give students a general understanding of what characterises digital culture and cultural practices. Students will learn how to identify and analyse digital cultural phenomena, and how to understand them in interplay with media systems, personal identity and community. The course furthermore examines how digital platforms can both limit and enrich people’s possibilities for cultural expression.
Designing digital and interactive technologies builds on understanding users and their needs, visions and values. This understanding must be grounded in a broader knowledge of digital culture and current cultural practices, in particular when the design involves digital media. In this context culture can be understood and analysed in different ways. Instead of viewing culture as something fixed, the course acknowledges that culture and cultural forms are continuously developed in interplay with new media forms.
The course provides students with a basic understanding of digital culture and cultural practices, and enables them to carry out studies of user practices through a cultural lens. They will be able to analyse how digital culture and its expressions through digital media platforms develops in an interplay between sociality and technology.
The course introduces different perspectives on the concept of culture and its analysis and discussions of what it means to live in a society where cultural expressions are increasingly mediated. Further, students are introduced to fundamental theories about the relation between communication and culture, social interaction and culture, identity and self-expression, and other relevant new understandings of culture and culture analysis including e.g. connectivity and virality. The course will also introduce different concrete internet-based cultures.
Throughout the course, fundamental problems and challenges in studying digital culture in practice will be discussed, building on the introduction provided in the course ‘Digital Design and Interactive Technologies – foundations’.
Formal prerequisitesPlease note that parts of this course will be taught in Danish. Full proficiency in Danish is therefore a prerequisite.
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- Explain what culture is and how culture develops in interaction with (digital) media forms
- Describe different approaches to the study of culture in a digital context
- Identify and apply methods for the study of digital culture and digital communication practices
- Describe and apply theories of relevance to the understanding of digital cultures
- Analyze cultural practices in connection with a concrete study of a self-selected case or digital phenomenon related to digital culture and media use
- Describe and reflect on the findings of the student’s case study based on the chosen theory, method and own empiral observations
The lectures will include learning activities in the form of small exercises that actively engage the students in the teaching.
In the exercises, practical work will be done on data collection methods with emphasis on both quantitative and qualitative content analysis and interviews. In addition, tools such as peer-grading and training with academic writing will be part of the exercise work.
Alongside the lectures, on a group basis the students must choose a contemporary digital cultural phenomenon or practice as a basis for an empirical study (= a "case"), they will be working with during most of the course. The selection must be based on a prior definition of a problem area and a relevant focus in relation to the course topics. In connection with the exercises, a simple research design is prepared for the case study. Subsequently, the findings of the case are presented at a mini-seminar where the students give each other active feedback. The case description and study design should be outlined in two very short papers handed in by the groups during the course, in order to help the students sharpen their focus and prepare their written exams.
There are no coursebooks for the course. Study material relevant for the course will be made available through LearnIT.
Student Activity BudgetEstimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
- Preparation for lectures and exercises: 20%
- Lectures: 20%
- Exercises: 20%
- Assignments: 10%
- Project work, supervision included: 15%
- Exam with preparation: 10%
- Other: 5%
Ordinary examExam type:
C: Submission of written work, External (7-point scale)
C11: Submission of written work
An individual written assignment of 8-10 pages (max. 4500 words), analysing data gathered during the course.