Summer 2024 - SA 315 D100

New Information Technology and Society (SA) (4)

Class Number: 3138

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Mon, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Elliot Montpellier
    Office: TBA
    Office Hours: Monday 1-2pm, 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.


Networks. Platforms. Affordances. Interfaces. Portals. Data. Our social lives are not only infused with new technologies, but along with these come new kinds of politics and ideologies that shape how we think about ourselves, society, and culture. Digital technologies continue to permeate and shape everyday life and continue to draw together people and ideas from across the globe. Yet, these realities are underpinned by complex political economies, ones that all too often reinscribe existing inequities and consolidate power and profit. This course takes a sociological and anthropological approach to media, technology, and society, drawing from different theoretical viewpoints and situated in different geographic regions. Topics include media publics, surveillance, platform labour, digital democracy and social movements, embodiment, infrastructures, design, and big data.


  • Engage scholarship across sociology, anthropology, science and technology studies, and media studies on information technologies and social life, drawing together reading skills and conventions for producing original research;
  • Identify and utilize different methodological approaches to the study of technology, information, and media;
  • Identify and analyze diverse understandings of how new informational technologies implicate the social lives of communities in distinct and often unequal ways;
  • Analyze debates about how technologies bring innovation and/or retrench forms of inequality;
  • Understand the lasting impacts of colonial and postcolonial experiences on technology;
  • Use information effectively and appropriately in written work and oral discussions;
  • Employ comparative perspectives to evaluate information.



  • Class participation and attendance 15%
  • Weekly writing assignments (total of 5) 25%
  • Methods activity #1 10%
  • Methods activity #2 10%
  • Research Paper 40%


Details regarding weekly assignments will be outlined in the first week of class.


Attendance and participation in all assignments is required. Please complete all readings prior to coming to lectures, participating in exercises, and submitting assignments.

Please submit assignments on time or write to me to request an extension in the case of illness or emergency. Late assignments for which no extension was granted will be accepted up to five calendar days past the due date with a penalty of 5% per day

Please come to class prepared to engage in critical thinking, to consider where scholars are coming from in their writing, and to respect differences in intellectual opinions among your peers.

Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). 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.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, SASU, is a governing body of students who are engaged with the department and want to build the SA community. Get involved!  Follow Facebook and Instagram pages or visit our website.





Readings will be available through the SFU Libraries and/or in open access publications. All materials will be posted or linked to on the class Canvas page.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.