Comm 582 Ethics and Emerging Communications Technology
Professor Patrick Parsons
Comm 582 will place greater emphasis next semester on empirical theories of communications technology and social change.
This will include readings in and discussion of: general theories of social change; evolutionary and coevolutionary models of technological development; media ecology; the social construction of technology; technological determinism; theories of technical affordance; the diffusion of innovation; studies of media displacement, cohort analysis and generational change; social cohesion and social fragmentation; information cascades and echo chambers; aggregation and power; and, of course, Giddens’ Theory of Structuration.
Noted authors will include Thomas Hughes, Lewis Mumford , W. Russell Neuman, Everett Rogers, Claude Fischer, H.A. Innis, Cass Sunstein, Zizi Papacharissi and perhaps Carolyn Marvin, among others.
Important readings in the philosophy of technology, utopian and dystopian perspectives, will also be on the table, with classic contributions from Jacques Ellul, (maybe Neil Postman), Hans Jonas, Cliff Christians, and others.
Normative philosophy, and applied normative (ethical) problems in privacy, deliberative democracy and informed governance, online anonymity and the like, will continue to be a structured part of the conversation.