Society, Technology & the Future
Monday/Wednesday: 8:30 – 10:20am
Office: O’Connor 336
Office Hours: Mon/Wed 10:30 – 12:30 or by appointment
Phone: (508) 626-4864
It’s easy to take for granted that we live in a world of 24/7 mobile communication. Yet, this relatively recent development is having profound impacts on how we live. Our aim in this course is to explore social implications of this technological revolution. Some of the topics we will consider include: the forging of virtual identities, the quality of our online relationships, multitasking; and the dangers technology poses to youth.
This course will enable you to:
- Recognize the powerful roles mobile communication technology plays in our society.
- See your own life differently by noticing how it is being shaped by the ways you use this technology.
- Become comfortable with expressing your ideas orally in front of your peers.
- Write with focus, clarity, and brevity.
The success of this course hinges on the productive exchange of ideas through discussions, with minimal lecturing. Therefore, it’s crucial that you play an active role in these discussions.
There are no books you need to buy for the course! All readings are posted below.
*Please bring assigned material to class. Either print it or access it electronically in class via your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
As a way of facilitating rich discussions, you are to post on Blackboard in advance of most classes. The dates when a reading response is due are listed on the schedule below.
Please post no later than 7am on the due date. I will not give credit for late posts. Your write-up should have two parts:
- A 2-3 paragraph critique of the reading, which differs from a summary. Whereas a summary highlights main points in the reading, a critique takes the discussion in a direction of your choosing. It explores themes or issues the reading raised for you. There are several ways you can frame your critique.
— Something you found interesting and why.
— Something you found confusing and why.
— An important topic left unexplored.
— Strengths/weaknesses of a study’s methodology.
— How a concept or idea applies to your own life.
- Raise 2 or more questions for our class discussion. These should not be “yes/no” questions but instead “how” or “why” questions, since these generate more discussion.
I understand there are justifiable reasons for missing a class, but if you miss more than two it will affect your grade. If you have to be absent, please let me know. There is no need to give me a doctor’s note. It is your responsibility to catch up on material you missed.
GRADING AND EVALUATION:
Your final grade will be based on the following:
*EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITY*: You can earn up to 10 additional points by attending two events, on November 7th and December 6th, related to an exhibition in the Mazmanian Gallery about work & family, and then writing about how the exhibition connects to themes in this course.
Given the Sociology Department’s commitment to maintaining the highest academic standards, students should be aware of the University’s policies concerning academic honesty, which are stated in the undergraduate catalog: “Integrity is essential to academic life. Consequently, students who enroll at Framingham State University agree to maintain high standards of academic honesty and scholarly practice. They shall be responsible for familiarizing themselves with the published policies and procedures regarding academic honesty.” Infractions include plagiarism, cheating on exams and quizzes, unauthorized collaboration with other students, and submitting work in more than one course for academic credit without prior approval of the instructor. The FSU Catalog defines plagiarism as “claiming as one’s own work the published or unpublished literal or paraphrased work of another.” Penalties for academic dishonesty may include receiving a failing grade for the course, academic suspension, and dismissal from the University.
Wed, September 6th
Mon, September 11th
*READING RESPONSE #1 DUE
Wed, September 13th
*READING RESPONSE #2 DUE
Mon, September 18th
*READ: Marina Micheli, “What is New in the Digital Divide? Understanding Internet Use by Teenagers from Different Social Backgrounds.” In Communication and Information Technologies Annual (Studies in Media and Communications 2015, Edited by Laura Robinson, Shelia R. Cotten, Jeremy Schulz, Timothy M. Hale, and Apryl Williams.
*READING RESPONSE #3 DUE
Wed, September 20th
*READING RESPONSE #4 DUE
Mon, September 25th
*READ: Andrew K. Przybylski and Netta Weinstein, “Can You Connect with Me Now? How the Presence of Mobile Communication Technology Influences Face-to-Face Conversation Quality.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships July 2012 1-10.
*READING RESPONSE #5 DUE
Wed, September 27th
*READING RESPONSE #6 DUE
Mon, October 2nd
*READING RESPONSE #7 DUE
Wed, October 4th
*WATCH: Tristan Harris, “How Better Tech Could Protect Us from Distraction.”
*READING RESPONSE #8 DUE
Mon, October 9th
No class – Columbus Day
Wed, October 11th
WATCH IN CLASS:
WATCH IN CLASS:
Mon, October 16th
*READING RESPONSE #9 DUE
Wed, October 18th
*READING RESPONSE #10 DUE
Mon, October 23rd
*READING RESPONSE #11 DUE
Wed, October 25th
*WATCH IN CLASS: “Her”
Mon, October 30th
*READING RESPONSE #12 DUE
Wed, November 1st
*READING RESPONSE #13 DUE
Mon, November 6th
*READING RESPONSE #14 DUE
Tues, November 7th
*OPTIONAL EXTRA CREDIT: Jane Gottesman, Exhibition Organizer of SHOWING (workxfamily), Mazmanian Gallery, 5pm.
Wed, November 8th
*READING RESPONSE #15 DUE
Mon, November 13th
*READING RESPONSE #16 DUE
Wednesday, November 15th
*READ: Ira Silver, “The Elephant in the Ipad: What’s Lurking Behind Online Predators?” Chapter in Social Problems: The Hidden Stories.
*READING RESPONSE #17 DUE
Monday, November 20th
*READ: Ira Silver, “Have Kids Gotten Meaner? Cyberbullying, Teen Suicide, and Adolescent Culture.” Chapter in Social Problems: The Hidden Stories.
*READING RESPONSE #18 DUE
Wednesday, November 22nd
Mon, November 27th
*READING RESPONSE #19 DUE
Wednesday, November 29th
*READING RESPONSE #20 DUE
*WATCH IN CLASS:
Mon, December 4th
Wednesday, December 6th
*OPTIONAL EXTRA CREDIT: Talking back to SHOWING (work/family), 5pm.
Monday, December 11th
Wednesday, December 13th
Wednesday, December 20th
*Paper 2 due