The world has transformed radically with age of the Internet, changing how we communicate, how we meet one another, and how we express ourselves. But is it truly changing our identities? Can technology change who we are, or does it just change how we represent ourselves?
This workshop explores the connections between identity, memory, performative self-expression and experience, engaging students in thinking deeply about their hyper-connected world. Examining social media, personalized advertisements, viral web phenomena and the selfie, we connect today’s trends to the big ideas of sociologists, helping students to make meaning of their impulse-driven communications. We ask: how does our constant use of ever-evolving media changing our plastic brains, and in turn, how are they changing our societies? Is it possible to be so connected we lose ourselves in the process?
1. Develop a deeper understanding of the impact of media and its unavoidable influence in our lives.
2. Examine and analyze modern communications phenomena (e.g. performativity and selfie culture) using scholars like Irving Goffman and Pernille Tranberg.
3. Develop a new perspective on our own active roles in consuming and producing media, and explore the positive and negative impacts this has on our personal, social and physiological experiences.