Digital Culture - SO657

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Spring 6 15 (7.5) DR V Miller checkmark-circle


This module will examine the impact of digital technology on our social and cultural lives. It will concentrate on how the Internet in particular has challenged some of our more traditional notions of identity and self, the body, relationships, community, privacy, politics, friendship, war and crime, economics, among others. Lectures will show how some of the basic components of culture such as notions of identity, space, the body, community, and even the very notion of what it is to be human, have been complicated by the rise of virtuality and cyberspace. We will also examine these issues through case study phenomena unique to digital culture, currently including gaming, music, cybersex and social networking.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

One hour lecture and one hour of seminar per week

Method of assessment

50% coursework (one 3,000 word essay 30% and 20% seminar participation) and 50% 2 hour examination (summer term)

Indicative reading

Siapera, E (2011) Understanding New Media, London, Sage.
Miller V (2011) Understanding Digital Culture. London: Sage
Bell D (2001) Introduction to Cyberculture. London: Routledge.
Fuchs, C. (2014) Social Media: A Critical Introduction. London: Sage
Castells M (2000-2003) The Information Age Vols 1-3. Blackwell
Flew T (2002) New Media: An Introduction. Oxford University Press
Athique, A. (2013) Digital Media and Society: An Introduction. Cambridge; Polity.
Barney, Darin. (2004) The Network Society. Cambridge: Polity.
Wandrip-Fruin N & Montford N (eds) (2003) The New Media Reader. MIT press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Describe and assess a range of theoretical accounts of the significance of the Internet and virtual environments in contemporary society.
Understand the social, economic and cultural dimensions of digital culture.
Critically assess the ways in which digital culture has resulted in new forms of social cohesion and identity construction.
Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary ideas about:
The development of capitalism and the knowledge economy.
Theories of the body, identity and representation, which are challenged by the use of the Internet.
Examples of digital cultures and subcultures and how they epitomise the above.
Provide first hand accounts and experiences of digital culture through online exercises and the use of WebCT.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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