Guest Speakers

Derya Gürses Tarbuck “Social History of Telephone”

Yavuz Günalay “xxx”


Virtual Materials

  • Digital Nation (2010) ( ): Frontline explores how the Internet and digital media have completely transformed contemporary life.
  • Online video clip: “Epic 2014
  • Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999): The story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century.

·         Jobs (2013): The story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century.

·         Mark Zuckerberg: Inside Facebook (2011): America has questions about today’s youth, what we care about, and where we’re headed. We had those questions too. So, after graduating college, four of us loaded an RV and embarked on a journey looking for answers. We traveled to all of the lower 48 states, talking to our peers about growing up, 9/11, race, the Internet, careers, sex, love, and the American Dream. Along the way, we met a wide cross-section of young Americans, ranging from a cancer researcher in Boston to a drug dealer in New Mexico, from an Iraq veteran in Florida to the founder of Facebook in Silicon Valley. The film ultimately leads to the recent historic election, where our generation finally stands up to make its voice heard. OUR TIME is a passionate portrayal of a generation, a meditation on coming of age in 21st-century America, and a rallying cry against apathy.

o   Written by MRH

·         The Social Network (2010): Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the cofounder who was later squeezed out of the business.

·         Facebook Is Not Your Friend (2014): In today’s society, Facebook practically is a living entity, and this sketch explores the idea: What if Facebook were a person? A Dark Comedic Short showing the true nature of Facebook.

·         The Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires (1996): Three part documentary that shows the insight look at the history of computers, from its rise in the 1970s to the beginning of the Dot-com boom of the late 1990s.

Part 1

Part 2



Cook, Scott D.N. “Technological Revolutions and the Gutenberg Myth.” In Internet Dreams:

Archetypes, Myths, and Metaphors, edited by Mark Stefik. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press,


Castells, M. (2002). The geography of the Internet: Networked places. In The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society, pp. 207-246. London and New York: Oxford University Press.

Lievrouw, L.A. and Farb, S.E. (2003). Information and social equity. In B. Cronin and D. Shaw

(Eds.), Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, vol. 37, pp. 499-540. Medford,

NJ: Information Today, for the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Agre, P.E. (1994). Surveillance and capture: Two models of privacy. The Information Society,

10(2), 101-127.

Blanchette, J.-F. and Johnson, D.G. (2002). Data retention and the panoptic society: The social

benefits of forgetfulness. The Information Society, 18, 33-45. Available online through UCLA

library catalog.

Nissenbaum, H. (1998). Protecting privacy in an information age: The problem of privacy in

public. Law and Philosophy, 17(5-6), November, 559-596. Available online through UCLA

library catalog.

David S. Alberts and Daniel S. Papp. (1997). The Information Age: An Anthology on Its Impact and Consequences CCRP Publication Series. Available at

Frank Webster, editor. (2004). The Information Society Reader. (London, NY: Routledge). Available at the Loyola Bookstore

Allison Cavanagh. (2007). Sociology in the Age of the Internet. Open University Press. ISBN: 9780335217250. Section 1

David Lyon. (2001). Surveillance Society. Open University Press, ISBN: 9780335205462.

Special forum: “How Revolutionary was the Print Revolution?” American Historical Review, 107(1), February 2002.

Cringely, Robert X. Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle

Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date (Addison-Wesley, 1992).

Brown, J.C.; & Duguid, P. (1995). The social life of documents. First Monday. Available:

Bert-Jaap Koops: Books. (1998). The Crypto Controversy:A Key Conflict in the Information Society (Law and Electronic Commerce) (9789041111432)



WEEK 1- September 15 & 19
Introduction to the Course: Going over the Syllabus
WEEK 2 – September 22 & 26 and WEEK 3 – September 29 & October 03
Information, Data, Knowledge – History and Structure of Information – Introducing the Information Revolution! – Gutenberg, Galileo, Google – Definitions: The New Technologies, Information Society, Globalisation

Webster, F. (2006, in press). The information society revisited. In L.A. Lievrouw and S. Livingstone (Eds.), Handbook of New Media (Updated Student Edition), pp. 443-457. London: Sage.
RÓBERT PINTÉR, “Towards getting to know information society” In Information Society: From Theory to Political Practice, 2008.
LÁSZLÓ Z. KARVALICS, “Information Society – what is it exactly? (The meaning, history and conceptual framework of an expression)” In Information Society: From Theory to Political Practice, 2008.
Mansell, R. (2009). “Introduction” The information society: Critical concepts in sociology. Routledge.
Film I: The Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires

WEEK 4 – RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS (Kurban Bayramı – No Class) October 06 & 10
WEEK 5 –October 13 & 17
The Politics of the Post-Office – The Annihilation of Space & Time
Henkin, David. “Embracing Opportunities: The Construction of the Personal Letter.” The Postal
Age: The Emergence of Modern Communications in Nineteenth-Century America (University
of Chicago, 2006)
Wells, H.G. (1938). World brain: The idea of a permanent world encyclopedia. From World Brain
(New York: Doubleday). Available: (See
also the Wikipedia entry on Wells,

Guest Speaker I

WEEK 6 – October 20 & 24
Industrializing Information – Information Factories – When Computers Were Human – The Computerization of Society – From Post-Industrial Society To Network Society – The Rise Of Network Society – Post-Industrial Society – The Network Society

Campbell-Kelly, et al. “When Computers Were Human,” “The Mechanical Office” Chapters 1 and 2 in Computer:A History of the Information Machine (2013)
Castells, M. (2011). The rise of the network society: The information age: Economy, society, and culture (Vol. 1). John Wiley & Sons.
Film II: Digital Nation

WEEK 7 – October 27 & 31

WEEK 8 – November 03 & 07 and WEEK 9 – November 10 & 14 and WEEK 10 – November 17 & 21
Silicon Valley 1.0 – Simulations, Simulacra, and the Matrix – FROM HIPPIES TO HACKERS -From Videotext to Videogames – TRIUMPH OF THE NERDS – No one expects the Computer Revolution … – Apple, IBM, Microsoft
Fred Turner, “Where the counterculture met the new economy: The WELL and the origins of
virtual community,” Technology and Culture (2005).
Castells, M. (2011). The power of identity: The information age: Economy, society, and culture (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.
Turkle, Sherry. “Hackers: Loving the Machine for Itself.” In The Second Self: Computers and the
Human Spirit (Simon Schuster, 1984).
Campbell-Kelly, et al. “The Shaping of the Personal Computer,” “Broadening the Appeal.” Chapters
10 and 11 in Computer: A History of the Information Machine (2013)
Film III: Pirates of Silicon Valley

Film IV: Mark Zuckerberg: Inside Facebook

Film V: Jobs

WEEK 11 – November 24 & 28 and
ARPAnet to Internet – The Architecture of the Internet – The internet as a media – Living the Virtual Life – Code is Law – Information Overload – Digital Globalism?

Campbell-Kelly, et al. “The Internet.” Chapter 12 in Computer: A History of the Information Machine (2013)
Lessig, Lawrence. Code, and other Laws of Cyberspace (Basic Books, 1999). Chapters 4–5.
boyd, danah. “Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace.” Apophenia Blog,
June 24, 2007.
Sassen, S. (2002). Towards a sociology of information technology. Current Sociology, 50(3), 365-388.
Zhao, S. (2006). The Internet and the transformation of the reality of everyday life: Toward a new analytic stance in sociology. Sociological Inquiry, 76(4), 458-474.

Film VI: Facebook is not your Friend

Film VII: The Social Network

WEEK 12 – December 01 & 05 and WEEK 13 – December 08 & 12 and WEEK 14 – December 15 & 19 and WEEK 15 – December 22 & 26


Course Objectives
The course has two major objectives: to describe the social, political, and cultural dimensions of information technology and what has come to be known as the “information society” and to investigate how the information penetration changes our life, how the society reacts, what are the technical, moral, ethical, and legal challenges we are facing right now.
Learning Outcomes
The students who have succeeded in this course; (Students that succeed in this course will be able to:)
1) Demonstrate the knowledge of the history of information and historical events that have shaped the development of mobile telecommunications.
2) Evaluate the social, political, and cultural dimensions of information technology.
3) Analyze and compare theories and issues surrounding the notion of the information society, from early formulations in the 1970s with the advent of computerization, to current debates and issues.
4) Describe and identify various ethical and public policy dimensions of the information society, including work and labour.
5) Describe and discuss issues surveillance and privacy, related to access and the digital divide, democratic uses, and gender issues.
6) Demonstrate critical thinking on the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information technology.
7) Assess technology in relationship to a variety of social issues such as the changing nature of: work, individual identity formation, social roles, democracy, privacy, and community.
8) Write a research proposal and design research related to information society.
Course Content
It has three major sections. First it covers important historical events that have shaped the development of mobile telecommunications. Secondly, it introduces theories and issues surrounding the notion of the information society, from early formulations in the 1970s with the advent of computerization, to current debates and issues about the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Thirdly, it focuses on various ethical and public policy dimensions of the information society, including work and labour, surveillance and privacy, access and the digital divide, democratic uses, and gender issues.

Course Notes / Textbooks:
A special course reader containing all the readings plus additional optional texts will be available for students at the copy center.
Course Requirements
Readings/Discussions. The course is taught primarily as a lecture, with some in-class discussion; students are expected to come to class having read and ready to discuss the assigned readings for that week, as listed below under “Course Schedule”.

Examinations. There are two exams in the course, a midterm and a final examination. Both will be written take-home exams, to be posted in advance at the course web site. Students will submit their exams to the website rather than in hard copy form. More information about the examinations will be provided in class and on the web site.

Wiki Assignment. Students will be expected to contribute to wikis posted at the course website, in any language, on any issue covered in the course:

• Information equity, access and power
• Intellectual freedom, surveillance and security
• Intellectual property and the information commons
• Information institutions, work, and professions
• Information and cultural heritage
• Democracy and good governance in information society
• Transformations: social classes, means of production, creative class
• The internet as a social space
• Surveillance and privacy
• Politics and society in information age
• Social media and political communication
• Sources of conflict and conflict resolution in information society
Keywords: Print Culture, Control Revolution, Postindustrial Economy, Network Society, Cyberspace, Big Data, Social Networking, Information Labor, Democratic Culture (and Freedom of Speech); Virtual Worlds and Social Software (Identity and Privacy); Media and Information Policy (Audiences, Markets and Models of Democracy); Content Control over the Internet (Collateral Censorship and Control over Conduits); Copyrights and Free Culture; Digital Control of Information and Innovation Policy (i) Broadband Policy, Open Access and Network Neutrality; (ii) Search Engine Policy; (iii) The Internet, Generativity, and Cybersecurity; Privacy and Surveillance (Surveillance and Governance; Privacy and the Networked Self); The Political Economy of Information Production (Networked Peer Production of Information Goods -Open Source and Peer Production Models; Wikipedia as a Case Study in Peer Production Systems); Journalism, Democracy and Politics (Journalism and the Blogosphere – New Journalistic Forms and the Future of News; the Networked Public Sphere and Democracy)

From Mad Men to Big Brother – Popular Cinema, Mass-Market Music, Intellectual Property – IBM and the Seven Dwarves – Software Revolution – The Social Construction of the Cell Phone – Virtual Materiality – RED PILL, BLUE PILL … The Information Revolution Revisited – Big Finish

Students will post annotated links to websites or other materials for each topic to create a resource that will be shared by the whole class. Additional details about the wiki project will be provided in class and online.

Grading Formula. Grading for the course will be based on the following formula: midterm and final exams, 30% each; wiki project, 15%; presentation, 10%; and participation in class discussions, 15%.

Syllabus I – COURSE ID


Department of Sociology
Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul: Fall Semester 2014-15
Departmental Elective Course for Sociology Students, Non-Dept for Others

Instructor: Asst. Prof. Dr. ULAŞ SUNATA
e-mail: ulas.sunata [at]
Course Hours (Classroom): Mondays 08:30-10:30 (D402)
Fridays 08:30-09:30 (D314-Office)
Office Hours: Fridays 08:30-09:30 (By appointment*)
Course Assistant: xxx
Course website: