CCTP-706-01 Globalization, New Media and Social Activism
Spring for 2007-2008
The combined and related forces of globalization and new media have transformed the world in profound and unalterable ways. One of the more interesting social activities both influenced by and actively influencing these transformations is the realm of social activism. A daily perusal through the Washington Post (.com of course) reveals the centrality of global social issues and activism in contemporary society. More and more, it would seem, politics is being influenced by activist organizations, network, and campaigns. Globalization and new media are central features of both activist critiques and campaign strategies. For example, the now infamous “Battle in Seattle” was both a critique of and participant in the processes of globalization and new media. One of the more difficult problems facing contemporary social activists groups is how to do activism and social change in an increasingly complex world that is both more connected and yet increasingly fragmented; characterized by diffuse identities and social formations; and that is differentiated from other eras by the abundance of information available.
Course objectives: This is an excellent course for students interested in developing a conceptual vocabulary of globalization, understanding the social implications of new media, and exploring the growing domain of social activism specifically as it has come to constitute a major force in politics and policy-making. It is my hope that you leave this class with both an extensive of understanding of globalization, new media, and social activism but also with the ability analyze and recommend strategies for adapting to and working with globalization and new media in the development of global activist campaigns.
Course assignments: As a case study, problem-centered approach to globalization, new media, and social activism, this course will ask you to apply the theories, concepts, and strategies we learn in the class to a specific global activist organization of your choosing. Your first assignment will be a 10-page problem statement that details (in both theoretical and practical language) an issue that faces that organization as it surrounds globalization and new media. Your second paper will be 10-page solution proposal that will outline a strategy for overcoming the problem you have described by using your new understandings of globalization, new media, and social activism. It is my intention then that, as a class, we submit our papers as a panel to a conference of our choosing.
Sample reading list:
Anderson, J., Dean, J. and Lovink, G. (2006). Reformatting Politics: Information Technology and Global Civil Society.
Carter, N. (2007). The Politics of the Environment: Ideas, Activism, Policy
De Jong, W., Shaw, M., and Stammers, N. (2005). Global Activism, Global Media.
Hassan, R, and Thomas, J. (2006). The New Media Theory Reader.
Jones, S. (2003). Encyclopedia of New Media: An Essential Reference to Communication and Technology.
Lechner, F. J. and Boli, J. (2003). The Globalization Reader.
McDonald, K. (2006). Global Movements: Action and Culture.
Other academic years
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