Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 880606-M-6
Understanding digital media and everyday life
Course info
Course module880606-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences; TSH: Commun. and Inform. Sciences; TSH: Department Communication and Cognition;
Is part of
M Linguistics and Communication Sciences (research)
Convenant TSH
dr. I.G.M. van de Ven
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksCaution: this information is subject to change
Registration openfrom 14/10/2020 up to and including 20/08/2021
Research Master students are asked to make themselves known to the teacher at the start of the course.

Learning objectives

After completing this course, students are able to…

Knowledge & Understanding:
  • be able to name and describe key socio-historical evolutions of our society, and explain how these evolutions give insight into how we use mobile and social media in our everyday life  
  • be able to name, describe, explain and illustrate relevant theories and concepts that explain how mobile media shape the social organization of everyday life.
  • be able to apply and illustrate the former theories and concepts in an analysis or evaluation of contemporary issues or topics
  • be able to describe explain, evaluate and illustrate challenges and opportunities that result from mobile and social media use for the social organization of everyday life.
  • Formulate judgment about theories and concepts that explain how digital media shape the everyday life
  • Identify and analyse an appropriate case study based on relevant theoretical literature.
  • Present an analysis of a case study in a clear manner and appropriate register, potentially suitable for publication in an academic online outlet 
Character building:
  • Through a discussion of topical societal issues, the course gives students tools for critical citizenship.
Digital media have pervaded every sphere of our everyday life. We use them when we work, consume our leisure time and socialize with friends and family. Because digital media use has become so taken-for-granted, we oftentimes fail to see the impact of digital technologies on how we lead our everyday lives. Moreover, we pay little attention to the broader societal implications of their use.

The aim of this course is to gain an in-depth understanding of the various ways in which digital media technologies have affected the way we do things in our everyday life, and how that, in turn, has led to new forms of social organization of our society. To achieve this aim, the course begins with an introductory lecture in which the tension between technological determinism and social constructivism is explained, and in which we address several reconciliatory theoretical positions. Exemplary theories are Mediatization, Affordances theory, Social Shaping of Technology and Domestication theory.

In the following lectures, we situate and discuss a number of socio-historical evolutions that charactize contemporary Western society and explore how digital media answer to some of the challenges of our time. We explore, for instance, Anthony Giddens’ concept of ‘pure relationships’ to understand why MCTs are excellent tools to support social relationships in Modernity. We discuss Manuel Castell's theory on space and time, and apply this theory to understand how mobile communication technologies provide individuals and organizations with greater autonomy. We focus on Foucault's work on power and surveillance to discuss how mobile media are used for (self-)surveillance, and in doing so create tensions between autonomy and control.

Please note that students who were enrolled for the course Mobile Media & Society cannot enroll for Digital Media and the Everyday Life.
Contact person
M.M.P. Vanden Abeele
Timetable information
Understanding digital media and everyday life
Required materials
List of literature
The reading materials consist of a selection of articles and chapters. The list of articles and chapters will be made available at the start of the course.
Recommended materials
Written exam

Final Result


Kies de Nederlandse taal