Fall 2019 - SA 315 J100

New Information Technology and Society (SA) (4)

Class Number: 3962

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Fri, 5:30–9:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Deborah Dergousoff
    Office Hours: Fr 16:00-17:00, or by appointment



Explores the new social spaces and social practices fostered by new information technology. Special attention will be paid to who is making decisions about what technologies to adopt and how, what social changes are resulting, and who benefits and who loses. A significant portion of activity in this course will involve direct engagement with new information technology.


How does thinking of our bodies and selves as technologies shape our ideas and experiences of cultural and personal identity? Does information technology ameliorate or exacerbate social inequality? This course will examine a broad array of information and technology philosophies and practices, particularly as they relate to gender and sexuality. Beginning from the premise that information, technology and culture are deeply connected, we will critically engage with traditions of feminist and post-colonial studies of science and technology, including cyberfeminism. Traditional areas of inquiry such as archives and information organization will be explored, but the course is more so interested in encounters with information phenomena and technology that do not lend themselves easily to the kinds of scientific and behaviorist modes of description that have long dominated this field of studies. Recognizing that axes of identity operate on multiple and simultaneous levels in systemic social inequality, our overall objective is to understand how multiple axes function together and interrelate to co-constitute each other, especially within institutions and systems of power where information technologies empower some social processes and oppress others. Group discussions and assigned work are designed to help you develop critical thinking skills and to explore creative means of academic expression.


  1. To develop a critical analysis of themes related to sociological study of new information technologies.
  2. To build understanding of feminist frameworks for theorizing intersectionality, relationality and embodiment in the study and philosophy of new information technologies.
  3. To explore creative means of academic expression by directly engaging with new information technologies
  4. To develop oral communication skills by leading and participating in class discussions of reading assignments.


  • Discussion facilitation/participation 20%
  • Blog posts 20%
  • Midterm exam 30%
  • Final paper 30%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.



Floridi, L. (2010). Information: A very short introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
ISBN: 978-0-199551378

Keilty, P., & Dean, R. (2013). Feminist and queer information studies. Sacramento, CA: Litwin Books.
ISBN: 978-1-936117161

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html