After completing the course students will be able to:
- Analyze and understand social groups in the 21st century (analytical thinking skills)
- Understand why the ‘local’ and the ‘offline’ can only be understood in combination with ‘the online’ and ‘the global’ (analytical thinking)
- Present their research and work in groups (presentation skills, social/group skills/planning and organization skills)
- Write and publish a decent research paper (writing skills & digital/ict skills)
- Write and publish a group file with individual articles on Diggit Magazine
(writing skills & digital/ict skills)
Howard Becker (1963) opens his seminal study on deviance with the following statement: ‘All social groups make rules and attempt, at some times and under some circumstances, to enforce them. Social rules define situations and the kinds of behavior appropriate to them.’
A prerequisite for being an ‘accepted member’ of a social group is knowledge about the group and its rules. To know what is good (or cool) behavior and what is bad (uncool) behavior. A lot has changed since Becker wrote about ‘deviant sub-cultures’ like Jazz musicians and marihuana users. In many cases social groups and their social worlds in the digital era cannot be understood anymore as national sub-cultures. The digital revolution has deeply changed the infrastructures of knowledge, and consequently, the nature and characteristics of knowledge itself. It has, in short, generated a new knowledge economy with different producers, consumers, modes of circulation and uptake, and different forms of knowledge representation (YouTube clips, for instance, have dislodged the monopoly of mass media on the mass circulation of content images).
In this course, we will update Becker's theory and reseach by looking deeper into the effects of digitalization on social groups and worlds. Can we understand trolls as a subculture? And what about hipters? The focal point of this course is that we can only understand the local, offline world - including sub-groups and their infrastructures - if we also take the global and online on board. Students will learn how to analyze social groups and the knowledge one needs to identify oneself as a member in the 21st century and to be able to identify how the online changes the offline. Next to a midterm, every student needs to publish one article on Diggit Magazine
- Howard Becker, The Outsiders, 1963.
- Maly, I. & Varis, P., The 21st-century hipster: On micro-populations in times of superdiversity., European Journal of Cultural Studies, 2016.
- Maly, I. (forthcoming), Saabism and Saabists.
- Pink, S., Horst, H., Postill, J., Hjorth, L., Lewis, T. and Tacchi, J., Digital ethnography. Principles and practice. Chapter 1 & 6, 2016.
- Diggit Magazine papers published for this course