This course will provide a theoretical orientation to communication processes in social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, and virtual worlds such as Second Life). Readings will be selected from a variety of disciplines, with a major emphasis on mediated communication theory and phenomena. Topics discussed include issues of self-presentation, identity, privacy, youth and social media, political participation, social networks, social capital, virtual worlds, collective action, uses of social media in the workplace. Methodological and ethical approaches to studying social media data will also be discussed.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Understand and engage with communication theory and empirical research relevant to understanding the emerging field of social media.
- Analyze the implications of social media for interpersonal relationships, organizations, and society more broadly, by drawing on theory, case studies, and real-world examples.
- Contribute to knowledge of social media through original research.
- Learn to use online tools to more effectively manage online self-presentation and social networks.