Although I have engaged in these readings in the past I was excited to look at them through a different lens. Reading and discussing these readings with Latryce got my wheels turning and had me thinking of so many ways that we can combine the two (reality and digital soc) and how that can be emersed into our own personal pedagogies.
Firstly, I would like to point out that I am still taken aback at the way Digital Sociology was viewed by old-school soc folks. There was a lot of shade and envy. The concept of “google envy” blew my mind the first time I read it and this time around too. One would think that people would be open and accepting of more efficient and faster ways of collecting Big Data. I know that I am a proponent of working smarter and not harder so this confuses me.
(me as confused Beyoncé)
“Some sociologists have speculated that in a context in which many diverse actors and organisations can collect and analyse social data from digital sources, the claim of sociologists that they have superior knowledge of researching social life and access to social data is challenged.” Challenging something like the works and strides in Digital Sociology is counterproductive in my eyes.Must sociologists suffer from ‘data envy’ (Back 2012: 19) or what otherwise has been termed ‘Google envy’ (Rogers 2013: 206) in this age of the corporatisation of big data?”
I want to talk about using digital sociology in my own pedagogies. After thinking about what that looks like in a classroom setting or learning community I have come up with a few things that are non-negotiable when it comes to digital sociology + classroom pedagogy.
In order to teach students what digital sociology is and how it can be utilized you first have to gauge their engagement with what a social digital community is. These communities consist of blogs, forums, open access materials, online learning communities (ex: Black Women Radical School), and social groups created on social media platforms (Academia Twitter, Black Twitter, Blackademia). Their understanding of this will make it easier to introduce these things and use them as supplemental materials to build a classroom with a foundation in digital sociology.
One way I have been doing this in my own classroom is that I encourage students to create digital learning communities in the classroom through an app they have (like GroupMe). I then encourage them to pay attention to how our classwork works with the digital, what does “digital” mean, and how we can use digital to measure things such as archiving social media posts on a specific subject to study reactions.
(me explaining how digital is everywhere, talking about surveillance, and the FBI agent in my computer to my students)
One last thing I wanted to talk about. So in Barnard’s text, they talked about the FIVE OBJECTIVES FOR THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL SOCIOLOGY. The part that I want to chat about is the first objective: Renew our analytical orientation – this includes our theories, methods, ontologies, and epistemologies – to better account for the ongoing shift toward an increasingly networked social world. I want to look at this in connection to your question in your video about theoretical and epistemological foundations. What came to mind for me is that digital sociologists are relying on the constant renewal and reviewal of updated language and signifiers that speak to the CURRENT state of social digital communities. Because this discipline section focuses on a thing (I cannot find another word to describe what the digital/social is) that is everchanging they have to rely on being ahead of the curve by staying abreast of what is changing and evolving in these spaces. Word usage, labeling, and data are changing because we are evolving into a digitized society.
For those who don’t know me well yet, Gina knows this, I often refer to digital sociology as tin-foil hat business. It’s a spiral that can send you all around the google machine. I am excited to read everyone’s posts and to learn more this semester.