Digital Culture - SOCI6570

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Vince 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


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


Cultural Studies and Media BA
Cultural Studies joint-honours BAs
Criminology BA
Criminology joint-honours BAs
Sociology BA
Sociology joint-honours BAs

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework - Seminar participation - 20%
Coursework - Essay (3000 words) - 30%
Examination (2 hours) - 50%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework

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

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Describe and critically assess a range of theoretical accounts of the significance of the Internet and virtual environments in contemporary society.
8.2 Articulate the social, economic and cultural dimensions of digital culture. This relates to programme outcomes covering knowledge and understanding of patterns of social diversity and inequality and their origins.
8.3 Critically assess the ways in which digital culture has resulted in new forms of social cohesion and identity construction.
8.4 Demonstrate coherent knowledge of contemporary ideas about: (1) the development of capitalism and the knowledge economy, (2) theories of the body, identity and representation, which are challenged by the use of the Internet and (3) examples of digital cultures and subcultures and how they epitomise the above.
8.5 Provide first-hand accounts and experiences of digital culture through online exercises and the use of Moodle.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Gather and synthesise information and theoretical knowledge from a range of different schools of thought and disciplines of inquiry. These contribute to the development of key skills in communication, and problem solving.
9.2 Demonstrate basic research and organisation skills through library and online investigation, critical debate, and essay writing. These develop key skills in communication and the use of information technology.
9.3 Demonstrate skills of presentation and debate. Seminar participation will encourage student's ability to understand and communicate theoretical material to others. This aims to help develop an ability to communicate and work with others.


  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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