The internet, and in particular the web and social media, has transformed the way we socialise, participate in politics, work, collaborate, and engage in commerce. This course focuses on the contribution of social science at large – emphasising classical sociology and social network analysis – to understanding life in the Digital Age. While attention is paid to relevant insights and approaches from other disciplines, for example applied physics and computer science, the primary focus is on theoretical and empirical contributions from social science. This course equips students with the theory and methods for understanding the social, political and economic impact of the internet. Students will also learn how network analysis and big data are being used to answer long-standing questions in social science.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- critically assess the social, political and economic impact of the internet;
- understand how big data are being used in the study of online social behaviour;
- conduct basic social network analysis;
- compare social scientific approaches to studying the internet with those from other disciplines; and
- discuss their learning in relation to the social science of the internet, both orally and in writing.
- Tutorial participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Social network analysis problem set, 500 words (10) [LO 3]
- Research brief on online social environment, 500 words (10) [LO 2,5]
- Examination, 3 hours (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Class paper, 1750 words (35) [LO 1,2,4,5]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 35 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 11 hours of tutorials; and
b) 95 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingAckland, R. (2013), Web Social Science: Concepts, Data and Tools for Social Scientists in the Digital Age, SAGE Publications.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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