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Social Media: Digital Identity & the Virtual Community Psychology Program Spring 2025 Semester - Barcelona

Social Media: Digital Identity & the Virtual Community

Social Media: Digital Identity & the Virtual Community Course Overview


CEA CAPA Partner Institution: CEA CAPA Barcelona Center
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Primary Subject Area: Sociology
Other Subject Area: Communication
Instruction in: English
Course Code: SOC321
Transcript Source: University of New Haven
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Prerequisites: None.


Today's personal, social, political, economic worlds are all affected by digital media and networked publics. With the advent of virtual communities, smart mobs, and online social networks (such as Facebook, Friendfeed, Twitter, Linkedin, Digg and Delicious) old questions about the meaning of human social behavior have taken on renewed significance. What do we mean by "community"? How do we encourage, discuss, analyze, understand, design and participate in healthy communities in the age of many-to-many media? How does meaning-making happen in and around the contexts of contemporary social media? In what ways are affinities for these media enabling us to think differently about what it means to read, write, and participate? While much has been made about both media consumption and production, we have yet to understand what it means to truly participate in their situated contexts. This course addresses these questions.

Although the course is grounded in theory, it is equally rooted in practice, and much of the class discussion and activity takes place in social cyberspaces. Consequently this course requires active participation of students and a willingness to immerse in social media practices. Much of the class discussion takes place in a variety of virtual world environments during and between face-to-face class meetings. As a practicum, those who complete this course will know how to chat, blog, tag, wiki, avatar, comment, twitter and flicker productively - and have some notion of how these practices affect self and community.

This course will also explore the new media landscape in terms of online expression, social networking, identity management, community building, and citizen journalism. How is social media changing the way you work and live? What are the implications for you and for the organizations you will work with? What opportunities and challenges do individuals, news organizations, and businesses face regarding communication, identity/brand management, and community building? How do we understand, participate in, and leverage communities in our current age of many-to-many media?

This course is cross-listed as COM351.

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