This free online course is based on the work of nine anthropologists who each spent 15 months in fieldsites in Brazil, Chile, industrial and rural China, England, India, Italy, Trinidad and Turkey.
What are the consequences of social media?
The course offers a new definition of social media which concentrates on the content posted, not just the capabilities of platforms. It examines the increasing importance of images in communication and the reasons why people post memes, selfies and photographs.
Over five weeks you will explore the impact of social media on a wide range of topics including politics, education, gender, commerce, privacy and equality. You will come to understand how the consequences of social media vary from region to region.
Take a comparative and anthropological approach to social media
The course will be taught by the same nine anthropologists who carried out the original fieldwork and who are publishing eleven books based on this research.
You will meet many of our informants through our films, engage with our team through video discussions and lectures, and encounter our ideas through animations, infographics and text.
Adopting an anthropological and comparative approach, we strive to understand not only how social media has changed the world, but how the world has changed social media.
To learn more about our research, see the Why We Post website or read our blog. If you have a question about the project, email [email protected]
Translations of this course can be found on UCLeXtend in the following languages: Chinese, Italian, Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil and Turkish.
What topics will you cover?
- What is social media and how should we define it?
- Academic approaches to social media and an introduction to anthropology.
- The rise of images in communication.
- The impact of social media on gender and politics.
- The impact of social media on education, commerce and privacy.
- The impact of social media on inequality.
When would you like to start?
Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.
Who is the course for?
The only requirement is an interest in social media and people.
Who developed the course?
UCL (University College London)
UCL was founded in 1826. It was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, and the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it.