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Q-Studies | M.Sc. | Seminar | 2 SWS

The World online

We are permanently surrounded by it, we spend hours with it, and feel disconnected from the world if it’s not available: the Internet. The Internet in fact has profound impacts on our daily lives. It has changed the ways in which we communicate, shop and exchange, work and play, look for company, search for global headlines or the opening hours of our local bar. The Internet has freed us from limitations of our own small local worlds and opened up the globe. At the same time it continually absorbs our attention and engages us in time-consuming searching, linking, and up-dating. This seminar explores these ambivalent impacts of the Internet, and examines the following questions.

  • The emergence of the virtual world: Who owns the Internet?
  • Virtual space and urban space: Substitutes or compliments?
  • Internet-sociality: Gemeinschaft or Gesellschaft?
  • New modes of production: Open-source (OpenStreetMap) and wikis (Wikipedia).
  • New modes of transaction: Market-places (ebay) and file-sharing.
  • New modes of interaction: Social media (facebook), dating-sites, and blogs.