Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Class Time: Thursday 5:00-8:00PM
Class Location: 245 Li Ka Shing
Office Hours: Wed 1:45-2:45PM, 479 Barrows

This course provides an overview of the social dynamics and phenomena of the Internet. This course will provide students with an understanding of the fundamental cultural and social principles of the Internet, from the perspective of social sciences and with a focus upon the relationship between technology and society. This course examines the ways in which society is changing due to the introduction and wide spread use of computers and computer network communication. We will explore the subjects social and economic change due to the Internet – the Internet in developing nations, new social networks and their impact on social lives, predation and cyber-bullying, online gaming and the social dynamics of virtual worlds, culture without a nation – the culture of the Internet, censorship and control of information, publishing open to all, dating and romance online, exploiting new technology: cyber-warfare and virtual crime.
Course Requirements:
1). Lectures:  If serious or significant reasons require a student to miss a class session, proof of reason for absence must be provided and students must notify me in advance (if possible) if they expect to miss a class session. It will be the responsibility of the student to contact me (during office hours) to collect any assignments or course materials they have missed due to absences.
2). Required Readings:
Readings will be assigned at the end of each class session. Additional readings (articles) will also be provided.
3). Exams: A midterm exam and a final exam will constitute 70% of the course grade (35% each exam). These examinations will test student understanding of in-class materials and the homework reading assignments.
4). Course Assignments: 30% of the course grade will be from assignments, both in class and out of class assignments. Several of these assignments will be in a group format and will require posting materials on the internet.
5). Academic Integrity: The University’s policy on academic honesty will be strictly enforced. If you are in doubt about quoting, paraphrasing, or plagiarism, consult your University Bulletin (also on-line). In other words, cheating in any form can be grounds for failing the entire course. Including material from elsewhere and presenting it as your own work is not permissible. All quoted text or graphics must be submitted with full citation. Text and graphics taken from the internet must be cited with a full URL reference.
6). Grading and Assessment:
Midterm Exam: 35%
Final Exam: 35%
Course Assignments: 30%
7). Performance Quality: Your grade on assignments and exams will be based upon your knowledge and understanding of course and reading materials, and your competence in applying these materials to your work and class discussions.

This schedule may be subject to change or revision:

SESSION 1 (Thurs, August 29) –
• COURSE OVERVIEW - An overview of course materials, syllabus overview, and group assignment. 

SESSION 2 (Thurs, Sept 5)  -
• ANONYMOUS: None of us are as cruel as all of us - An overview of the “Anonymous” and “Chanology” movements and online organization and communications – how an informal group of hackers attacked the Church of Scientology, the Internet security firm HB Gary, Sony Music, and the Iranian Government.
• Norton, Quinn "Anonymous 101: Introduction to the Lulz" WIRED Nov 2011 [LINK].
• Dibbell, Julian "The Assclown Offensive: How to Enrage the Church of ScientologyWIRED Sept 2009 [LINK].
• Zetter, Kim "Oil Companies Spring a Leak, Courtesy of AnonymousWIRED July 2012 [LINK].

SESSION 3 (Thurs, Sept 12)  –
• THE HISTORY OF THE INTERNET - Data and internal messaging networks, email and usenet, the “browser wars” of the new millennium, the Web 2.0 Revolution of 2002-2005.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE INTERNET – The predominance of English on the internet and its global implications. The evolution of haxor (“hacker”) and l33t (“leet”) – developing new English terminology and orthography. Overview of common internet cultural terms.

SESSION 4 (Thurs, Sept 19) –
• SCAMMING and SCAMBAITING - The world of “419 scams” and the social sanctions through “scam-baiting.”
• VIRTUAL CRIME - The Internet as a new arena for criminal activity: goldfarming economies, public shaming, virtual prostitution, and hacking.
Kushner, David "The Hacker is Watching" GQ Jan 2012 [LINK].
Suler, John "The Online Disinhibition Effect" CyberPsychology and Behavior vol.7 no.3, 2004 [LINK]. [NOTE: This is a JStor article, you need to be on a Berkeley Internet connection to view/download this article].

SESSION 5 (Thurs, Sept 26) –
• HUMOR AND THE INTERNET  - What is “humor” and how do social sciences identify and define it?
• DIGITAL ECONOMY and CURRENCY – We will examine the economy of the Internet: the billion-dollar industry of "Goldfarming" in online games, to the underground economy of Bitcoins.
• Wallace, Benjamin "The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin" WIRED Nov 2011 [LINK].
• Davidson, Patrick “The Language of Internet Memes” in The Social Media Reader, Michael Mandiberg (ed), New York University Press, 2012

SESSION 6 (Thurs, Oct 3) – 
The DEMOCRATIZATION of PUBLISHING - how the availability of publishing has changed the way we communicate and how it is changing the boundaries between "public" and "private" information and interaction. 
• Maratea, Ray "The e-Rise and Fall of Social Problems: The Blogosphere as a Public Arena" Social Problems, Vol. 55, No. 1, 2008. [LINK] [NOTE: This is a JStor article, you need to be on a Berkeley Internet connection to view/download this article].

SESSION 7 (Thurs, Oct 10) –  
•  SOCIAL NETWORKS - The expansion of social networks on the Internet and the nature of social networks and the diffusion of information across social networks, and why they are perceived to be the "Holy Grail" for marketing.
• PUBLISHING, PARTICIPATORY INFORMATION, and PARTICIPATORY NEWS – how the Internet is changing the way we receive and report news: the participatory nature of modern news, civilian journalism, and amateur news publishing. Understanding the (almost terrifying) volume of information available on the Internet; what the Internet knows about you; how much misinformation exists on the Internet.
• Glaser, Mark "Your Guide to Citizen JournalismMediaShift, Sept 2006 [LINK].
• Hyde, Adam et al. “What is Collaboration Anyway?” in The Social Media Reader, Michael Mandiberg (ed), New York University Press, 2012 
• Boyd, Danah “Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle” in The Social Media Reader, Michael Mandiberg (ed), New York University Press, 2012


SESSION 9 (Thurs, Oct 24) –
• BOTNETS, WORMS, and TROJAN HORSES: The Tools of Cyber Warfare -
The world of viruses, botnet attacks, and Internet espionage. The case study of the cyber attacks on the nation of Estonia.
• Coleman, E. Gabriella “Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls” in The Social Media Reader, Michael Mandiberg (ed), New York University Press, 2012

SESSION 10 (Thurs, Oct 31) --
• THE DIGITAL DIVIDE - We will examine the demographics of the National and Global Digital Divides: how access to digital communications technologies is not evenly distributed across society and the globe. We will look at the change in access over the past decade, and the social implications of such imbalances. 
• CHINESE INTERNET PROTEST - We will examine the Chinese protests over Internet censorship.
• Choi, Chong Ju and Ron Berger "Ethics of Global Internet, Community and Fame Addiction"
Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 85, No. 2, 2009. [LINK] [NOTE: This is a JStor article, you need to be on a Berkeley Internet connection to view/download this article].

SESSION 11 (Thurs, Nov 7)
• DATING and SEX on the INTERNET - The world of pornography, predation, and sexual conduct on the Internet.
• Welsh, Andrew and Jennifer Lavoie "Risky eBusiness: An Examination of Risk-Taking, Online Disclosiveness, and Cyberstalking Victimization" CyberPsychology 6 (1), 2012 [LINK].
• Wang, Rong and Suzanne M. Bianchi and Sara Raley "Teenagers' Internet Use and Family Rules: A Research NoteJournal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 67, No. 5, 2005. [LINK] [NOTE: This is a JStor article, you need to be on a Berkeley Internet connection to view/download this article].

SESSION 12 (Thurs, Nov 14)
• THE SOCIAL WORLD OF VIDEO GAMES - We will examine the nature of social interaction in virtual online worlds - how people behave when they can assume new identities.

SESSION 13 (Thurs, Nov 21)
• WEB 3.0 - We will examine the next steps in the Internet and Social Media: how augmented reality, geotagging, and mobile Internet materials are bringing the Internet into the physical world. 


FINAL EXAM – Thurs, December 19 11:30-2:30PM

1 comment:

  1. The Anonymous folks turned on eachother!!!! I'm disappointed!!!
    Take a look at this article