Michigan State University
Department of Media and Information
MI401: Information and Society
Offered: Spring 2018
Technologies capture both the stuff of our boring daily routines and of our imaginations, from space exploration to our eating habits. Some technologies are introduced as a seemingly logical extension of trends within the industrialized world, while others emerge, unexpectedly and fundamentally changing our everyday lives. This course will explore the complex and social role of technology as mutually shaping and being shaped by our society from the phonebook and spacecraft to self-driving cars and Spotify. We will discuss the role and responsibilities of communication researchers and designers in the development and analysis of technological systems as well as the relationship of technological development to new forms of knowledge and culture. We will explore questions whose answers may lie (at least partially) in the things we build and employ. We will explore theories around the mutual shaping of technology and society, understanding technological change over time, and technologically-supported collaboration. This course will draw from provocative critical literatures across the fields of Communication, Science & Technology Studies, Information Science, Anthropology, and Sociology and bridge to modern dialogs within the media. The goal is to use these perspectives to inform our understanding of contemporary, technologically-oriented concerns for analyzing, evaluating and designing.