Social Media and Society
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Sotsiaalmeedia ja ühiskond
Course title in English
Social Media and Society
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2018/2019  Autumn semester
Katrin Tiidenberg (inglise keel)
lecturer of 2018/2019  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
This is a theoretically oriented course, focusing on an overview of current relevant theories and scholarly debates on social media and society. The goal is to allow the student to think through and conceptualize the social, political, economical and ideological aspects of living with social media and smart technologies.
Brief description of the course
Detailed course description is available in the syllabus that can be accessed on Moodle (course “Social Media and Society, BFM7384.FK,

‘Social Media and Society’ considers the role of networked communication technologies, social media, and specific platforms and applications in personal and societal life. It takes a sociological perspective on society (conceptualized via structure, agency, social institutions, inequality, social change and knowledges) and makes sense of social media via the concepts of affordances, platforms, connectivity, (in)visibility and user practices. Relying on relevant academic work that conceptualizes the social dynamics and implications of social media, we will explore the personal, social, economical, political and ideological aspects of living in networked, digitally saturated societies.
- Introduction. What are the main concepts we use to study networked society? What are the social implications of social media?
- Truths, knowledges and discourse (attention, facts, polarization)
- Structure and agency (governance, infrastructures, maintenance, breakdown)
- Visibility, power, and social inequalities
- Social institutions and networked capitalism (labor, work, consumer economy)
- Future making (civic engagement, participation, networked publics, literacy, net neutrality)

Independent work
• Lectures
• In-class discussions
• 3 in-class exit quizzes (about the content of the class)
• 6 in-class reading quizzes (about the reading assigned for that class).
Learning outcomes in the course
The student, who has actively engaged with this course will be able to answer the following questions:

• What are some of the more pertinent personal, social, economical, cultural and political aspects of living in a networked society?
• How can social media shape and constrain social processes, social structures and people’s agency?
• What kinds of affordances do various social media platforms and applications have and what are the connections between these affordances and people’s behavior?
• How does power operate in the digitally saturated world?
• What are the important connections between consumerism, labor and social media?

Assessment methods

Grades are based on the total number of accumulated points (100p = 100%). Points are earned from in-class quizzes (reading or class content related) and from the written exam. Maximum possible points: 45 - quizzes (5 per quiz), 55 – final exam.

A - 100% - 91% B – 90% - 81% C – 80% - 71%
D – 70% - 61 E – 60% - 51 F – 50% and less

Katrin Tiidenberg, PhD
Study literature
Ainekursusel osalemine eeldab 12 teaduslikus inglise keeles kirjutatud teksti läbitöötamist (raamatupeatüki või teadusliku artikli pikkused).
Õppejõud laadib kohustuslikud tekstid üles Moodle keskkonda.
Õppejõud teeb kättesaadavaks ka soovitatava kirjanduse nimekirja

Participation in and passing the class involves reading a total of 12 texts (journal article or book chapter length) in academic English.

The mandatory texts will be available in the syllabus on the course Moodle page.
Replacement literature
Aine sooritamine on võimalik ainult iseseisvate ülesannete sooritamisel ning essee kirjutamisel ei ole võimalik asenduskirjanduse alusel.
The course can’t be passed based on independent study