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DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca Digital Culture and Sociology Everyday Life and IT.

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Presentation on theme: "DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca Digital Culture and Sociology Everyday Life and IT."— Presentation transcript:

1 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca Digital Culture and Sociology Everyday Life and IT

2 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca Theme: Everyday Life as concept (Lister et.al.) Focus: Experiential Stories Method: Storytelling Studying a practise: Cyborgbabies Studying an object: Furby about today break theme method

3 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca theme: everyday life Definition of everyday life, discuss (220) Chapter as introduction to a lot of theories Key questions (p. 222) similar to those for this course Chapter structure: –The Domestic Shaping of New Media –New Media, Identity and the Everyday –Gameplay The “cases”: as examples for project topics Lester et.al.

4 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca text goals How the intersection of media technologies with the spaces and relationships of the home has been theorised The “newness” of media vs the routines and relationships of households New media as commodities (and not as products of science fiction) How normal people understand them Lester et.al.

5 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca some ideas Problematize assumption that introduction of new media won’t change homes (223-26), for example by looking at telecommuting. Symbolic status crucial for success of new products ( ) Difficult to distinguish between qualities of objects: instrumental, play, symbolic (i.e. mobile phones, 233) Objects have to be understood in context, for example: location of computer in the home The problem of edutainment ( ) Draws a lot on cultural studies perspective, Mackay, whose text we have next week. Lester et.al.

6 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca theoretical mapping: new media Lester et.al. POPULIST POSTMODERNISM (+/-) - Consumption & leisure define us (not production) - Hyperrealism (Baudrillard), objects are not functional any more, become symbols. CULTURAL + MEDIA STUDIES (+/-) - Opposition old / new media (construct identity through choice / ownership vs. use) i.e. Poster - Power issues (i.e. feminism) - Problems: cultural approach can downplay instrumental nature of new media; if hardware is text, what is software? Hard to separate

7 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca theoretical mapping: identity Lester et.al. POSTMODERNIST CYBERCULTURE (+) - Change is good (Turkle) - Identity play in cyberspace POSTMODERNIST politics of identity (+/-) - Media only one factor more (migration, gender...) - Reviews marxism (Hall) POSTMODERNISM AS CRISIS (-) - Hyperreality (Baudrillard) - We canot access world - Subject dazzled (Jameson) POSTMODERN MEDIA SUBJECT (+/-) - Identity shaped through media culture (Jensen) SUBJECT CONSTRUCTED BY DISCOURSE (-) - Althusser, Foucault - Cyborgs (Haraway), my addition - The posthuman (Hayles) my addition CYBERPUNK (?) - Breaking free - Romanticism (sometimes used by CMC + cyberculture Related “opposed”

8 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca Barlovian stories “Barlovian cyberspace – named after cyberspace guru John Perry Barlow (who first used Gibson’s term to describe computer mediated communications) – represent the mediation of image and reality: ‘joining together the visions of cyberpunk to the reality of networks creates a concept of cyberspace as a place that currently exists’. This idea, that we experience cyberspace at the intersection of reality and fantasy (...)” (21) David Bell

9 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca experiential stories David Bell Sterne- in order to study the Internet we have to ground it in everyday life. Miller & Slater- ethnography of internet use in Trinidad “novelty has worn off, main usage is seen as mundane”. It is important to know how ordinary people make use and sense of IT

10 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca experiential stories Mike Michael “The anecdote acts as a focal point in which a described event adds some flesh to what might otherwise have been the dry bones of an arbitrary example. As a fairly detailed episode, it allows us to glimpse mundane technologies in use, in particular time and place, and to witness how the meanings and functions of these artefacts are ongoingly negotiated.” (14)

11 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca

12 storytelling Ann Gray people in control: tell what they want / feel, freer than questions self-comment reveals their social position people are more complex than just gender or class statistics

13 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca sociology of stories Ann Gray What is the nature and content of the story? Textual question. Structure of the narrative, repertoires, codes, how the teller positions herself. What is the social process of producing and consuming stories? Is it an own story or somebody else’s? Can it be told socially? Censorship? Rules? What social roles do stories play? Are some narratives dominant and others on the margins? Draws on Plummer

14 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca modes of storying Ann Gray (Auto)biography (As topic: interesting in its own right; or as resource: for example for information about a period) Testimony (resource): Particular events (often traumatic) Life story (topic and resource) Oral history, interviews about practises (example of tv use) Memory, public sources of stories (for example about abuse), how they are constructed

15 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca cyborg baby Why is this a good example for us today: ultrasound appears to lack culture, to be a universalizing straightforward technology (120) Goal: How is the fetus culturally constructed ( ) Link to Haraway (bodily boundaries, dichotomies) What kind of experience is this? Making it into an individual, outside the mother. Mitchell & Georges

16 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca cyborg baby Why is being concerned about gender “bad”? (111) Different perception of fetus according to culture: –The semi-sacred individual self (US, Canada). A separate person with rights –A confirmation of health, physical wholeness. It won’t be a baby until born and socialized (Greece) A desirable “modern” practise Method: observing a lot of scannings + interviews + examining scientific and popular literature Rhetoric: note “the blurb”, “the ritual” (p. 105) Mitchell & Georges

17 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca Furby Personal Story: “I” throughout Beyond opinion by using sales data + media coverage Marc Pesce

18 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca Furby What kind of interaction is that? (p. 21) Related to the topic of affection and machines: The Media Equation Why all the craze? Marc Pesce

19 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 4 – Susana Tosca complementary bibliography  BAUDRILLARD, Jean Simulacra and Simulation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press  HARAWAY, Donna “A Manifesto for cyborgs: science, technology, and socialist feminism in the 1980’s, in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York; Routledge.  MICHAEL, M Reconnecting Culture, Technology and Nature: fron society to heterogeneity. London: Routledge.  MILLER, DANIEL & SLATER, DON The Internet: an ethnographic approach. Oxford: Berg.  REEVES, BYRON & NASS, CLIFFORD The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.  STERNE, J “Thinking the Internet: cultural studies versus the millenium” in JONES (ed). Doing Internet Research: critical issues and methods for examining the Net. London: Sage.


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