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Unit information: Digital Society in 2021/22

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Digital Society
Unit code SOCI20077
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Sveta Milyaeva
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The ever-accelerating development of the ubiquitous technologies is assumed to be a great enhancer of the human capacity to interact. While acknowledging the profound transformation of social interactions enabled by digital devices, the unit is set to challenge the unproblematic perception of digitalised social practices. The conventional assumptions about mundane use of digital devices will be challenged by the way the unit is designed. To develop our understanding of the digital society, each week we will look at various aspects of it (e.g. digital intimacies, digital economies, digital inequalities, digital politics and elections, digital death) by engaging with contemporary sociological accounts of the everyday digital. Students will be encouraged to unpack taken for granted digital interactions, think about the complexities of researching the digital, and apply their sociological thinking in preparing their own arguments linking personal experiences to public issues in a digital society.

This unit aims to encourage sociological reflection on what digital society is by:
• engaging with the range of contemporary sociological accounts of a digital society;
• outlining key theoretical and methodological debates around the digital;
• critically reflecting on taken for granted assumptions made with regards to mundane digital interactions;
• stimulating debates that encourage the development of a critical awareness of ubiquitously technologised social practices.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

1. demonstrate understanding of the role of technology and how it shapes the social world;
2. identify a set of key analytic concerns with regards to the digital mode of society;
3. critically engage with different methodological approaches to studying ‘the digital’;
4. demonstrate the ability to critically discuss the ways in which the sociological study of digital society has developed;
5. make detailed and appropriate use of empirical cases to construct cogent arguments about the wider implications of the digitisation for social life.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

Summative Assessment 1 (20%) - Verbal group presentation (Assesses ILO 5)

Summative assessment 2 - Essay (2,000 words) (80%). (Assesses ILOs 1-4)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SOCI20077).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.