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Information Society and Digital Media Culture




Admissions requirements

Essentials of Journalism
Investigative Journalism or Video Journalism


While on the one hand digital media is often associated with the democratic potential and increasing transparency, on the other hand many people also feel increasingly overwhelmed by information and technology in their daily lives. Fake news and filter bubbles make us question the promise of more information as better information and invite questions about power relations in digitized world. At the same time we increasingly rely on specific types of knowledge produced through digitized infrastructures to represent ourselves, our bodies, our cities and our aspirations.

During the course we will collaboratively explore a range of pressing questions about social change and technological development. Paying attention to the ideological basis, historical roots, political economy and cultural practices we will try to understand critically the role of ‘information’ in contemporary societies and what is to be understood with ‘information society’.

Throughout the classes we will sensitize ourselves with the various ways and contexts in which people deal with technology and the larger structural processes that shape these experiences. Some of the questions that we will examine during the course are - what is really new about the new media and what are the historical continuities? Who are the gatekeepers in the information society? How to make sense of the algorithmic realities that influence what becomes visible and what hidden? What role social media platforms play in distribution and circulation of information? How race, gender, class and age play role in who gets to be represented online in what ways?

Course objectives

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to take part in discussions regarding the political, cultural and economic factors that govern the global dispersion of information technologies and the obsession with “information” in general.

Students will be able to historicize new media developments and critically examine the often conflicting ideas about progress brought about by technological change.

They will be able to identify the various ideological and political purposes to which ICT is put to use by differently-positioned groups around the world.

Students will be able to employ observations of online and offline phenomena to develop their arguments about life in information society.

After completion of this course students will be able to synthesize the various experiences related to information society and report on them in academic text as well as essays intended for general audience.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course combines literature study with in class discussions and gradually prepares the students to develop a research proposal on a topic related to information society. To provide unique material for the research proposals students will also have to do either fieldwork observations, administer an online experiment, or subject themselves to a digital media detox depending on their choice and topic of interest.


  • Literature review and in-class discussion: 20% (Weekly)

  • Midterm test: 20% (Week 3)

  • Fieldwork/Online experiment: 20% (Week 4 and 5)

  • Final Presentation: 20% (Week 7)

  • Final Research Proposal: 20% (Week 8)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

We will use a wide selection of articles published in scientific journals available through the Leiden University Library digital catalogue.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact