Although I was aware Digital Sociology was fairly new, based mostly on the fact whenever I tell people I’m getting my M.A. in Digital Sociology, no one ever knows what it is and always ask me to elaborate (which I’m always happy to do). But there was something quite refreshing to read from accredited scholars about just how late to the game Digital Sociology is in the US. That being said, it’s not as surprising that the U.S. can fall behind or take longer than other places to address pressing issue…(just look at how we handled COVID when it first broke out here).

What really struck me was the section discussing digitized schooling. When Cottom (2017) dissected the disparities between urban/poorer vs suburban/wealthier schools, I didn’t expect the aspect of how companies decide how to give out their tech such as laptops and how they use them to retrieve user data. Cottom (2017) explains the process of tech companies giving out laptops to schools who cannot necessarily afford them, however, in exchange they’re able to mine, financialize and commodify their data. In other words, although it’s “free” or a “give away” it’s really not because these schools are selling their students data.

That’s probably one of the best examples of what digital sociology is. It’s not just about coding or looking at normal real life populations, it’s seeing how technology is essentially shaping us, learning from us, and ultimately affecting us as well. Digital sociology allows us to get deeper into digital spheres and see how education is different for poorer demographics as opposed to a more wealthier demographic. This unique lens allows us to have a more three-dimensional, rounded perspective of systemic issues, and I love it!

 

 

5 comments

  1. montitaylor February 8, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    Period!!

  2. sfarooq002 February 8, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing. You paint a fantastic picture of what digital sociology means beyond just the basic definition. It reminds me of the ‘ poor tax’ underprivileged populations face just to survive. For example, a person who manages their money in a bank also has to deal with hidden overdraft fees or interest payments — the repercussions of not being able to pay back funds on time, which predominantly affects poor communities. Similarly, providing ‘free’ laptops has several hidden consequences that unfortunately take advantage of innocent people solely due to their socioeconomic status. Digital Sociology can recognize such injustices and hopefully bring about change.

  3. coghillk February 9, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    PERIOD POODAH!

  4. coghillk February 9, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    It’s not just about coding or looking at normal real-life populations, it’s seeing how technology is essentially shaping us, learning from us, and ultimately affecting us as well. <— THIS PART.

  5. digitalsocyprof13 February 19, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    I second Ka’Lyn’s quote, “THIS PART!” I have been reading the commentary throughout this Discuss and Assess and see how we contribute to “scholarship of the digital.” WE are theorizing what we think digital sociology is. We are building on a conversation that starts with these readings, but we extrapolate, rearticulate, and challenge through these conversations to clarify, direct, and redirect the subdiscipline contours.

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