Digital Media, Society, and the Self (Psychology 393)

CYBER PSYCHOLOGY: DIGITAL MEDIA, SOCIETY, AND THE SELF (PSYCH 393)Marymount Manhattan College: Summer 2008, Summer 2009, Summer 2010

This course is designed to explore the mutual shaping of digital media, society, and the self. It is structured as an advanced research workshop and is typically conducted in ten, four-hour sessions. A mix of reading modules, field trips, and digital environments is utilized to help participants understand and engage the emerging field of Cyber Psychology.

Themed Reading Modules

  • Cyber Psychology in Context
  • Time, Space and the Interface: Renegotiating Psychosocial Concepts
  • Cyberspace as a Place for Reflection and Projection
  • Digital Selves: Identity in the Informational Age
  • Mediated Social Interactions and the Cybercity
  • Digital Surveillance, Stereotypes, and Pseudo-environments
  • Cyberspace, Governmentality, and the Digital Self
  • Safety and Security in Digital Environments
  • Work, Play, and Education in the Informational Age
  • Hacking and Cyber-Environmental Consciousness

Course Structure
Through a collaborative research project, participants are encouraged to research and reflect on the ways digital environments shape how people think and act, as well as how people in turn shape these environments through their daily digital engagements. The collaborative research project consists of three parts:

  • Topographies: Course participants identify several locations within NYC where the city interfaces with cyberspace in overt and observable ways. Field research is then conducted at each location with the goal of developing a detailed description of how cyberspace mediates daily experience in these spaces. Particular attention is paid to the psycho/social effects of this mediation.
  • Digital Footprints: Each course participant conducts a digital auto-ethnography of their daily cyber-spatial engagements. Methods for documenting and sharing the information produced from these ethnographies are collaboratively developed in class — with the goal of sharing and reflecting on such engagements in relation to the course readings.
  • Synthesis: Course participants draw from course readings, class discussions, and the knowledge derived from their Digital Footprints and Topographies projects to collaboratively design and produce a web-based multi-media research paper.