Category Archives: Coursenotes

Coursenotes: SOCI/ANTH 441, Week 4

Griswold et al.

Griswold, Wendy, Gemma Mangione, and Terence E. McDonnell. “Objects, Words, and Bodies in Space: Bringing Materiality into Cultural Analysis.” Qualitative Sociology 36, no. 4 (December 1, 2013): 343–64. doi:10.1007/s11133–013–9264–6.


Wordcloud for Griswold et al. 2013
Wordcloud for Griswold et al. 2013

Distinctive Words

art (78), objects (67), museum (37), position (36), exhibition (30)

Selected Words

art, objects, museum, position, visitors, exhibition, work, material, labels, physical, materiality, location, object, experience, space, bodies, museums, sculpture, interaction, distance, label, gallery, viewers, meaning-making, corridor, audiences, interactions, encounter, curators, sts, shape, floor, exhibitions, actors, wall, viewer, legibility, interact, green, artworks, ant, actants, presuppositions, non-human, light, latour, cognition, affordances, visitor, interpret, exhibit, dance, create, attention, agency, spaces, shapes, guides, game, encounters, arcangels, sculptures, room, orientation, network, mediating, locate, interplay, installations, hand, ground, golf, focus, environments, engagement, desk, curatorial, bodily, akrich, actor-network, positions, photographs, photo, pedestal, ledger, hennion, galleries, cues, body, artwork, arrangement, perceptible, orient, observing, nudes, materials, laboratory, interacts, gibson, eyes, encountering, emplacement, embedded, elevator, design, cueing, cue, collection, choreography, bourdieu, audio-guide, arrangements, agents, affords, afford, affect



  • From sociology of science to cultural sociology
  • Actor-Network Theory
  • Social Construction of Technology


  • Museum Studies
  • Curatorial work
  • Visitor Studies
  • Position and location
  • Arts


  • Perception
  • Meaning-making
  • Disposition
  • Inter-individual

Selected References

Akrich, Appadurai, Becker, Bijker, Bourdieu, Callon, de la Fuente, DeNora, Gell, Gibson, Hebdige, Hennion, Hetherington, Keane, Knorr-Cetina, Latour, Law, Lynch, Pinch, Prior

Coursenotes: SOCI/ANTH 441 Week 3 (Draft)

Wordcloud for Bates 2012
Wordcloud for Bates 2012
Word trends in Bates 2012
Word trends in Bates 2012

Baglama turc manche long“. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Bates Terms

objects, material, makers, wood, construction, agency, bowl, organology, object, networks, meanings, body, golem, woods, mulberry, things, strings, museum, making, maker, fabrika, chestnut, workshop, tool, museums, matter, kinesthesis, tools, thing-power, sts, production, network, embodiment, clay, classification, atölye, articulated, workshops, trees, string, spruce, sensoriums, r-making, pinch, organograms, neighborhood, materials, latour, kinesthetics, kinesthetic, houses, homes, craft, conservatories, carving, assemblages, assemblage, agentive, actor-network, actants, tree, saz-making, saz-maker, lyra-makers, households, hardwoods, handtools, embodied, classificatory, classifications, violin-maker, tanbur-making, networksthe, music-making, maker-customer, instrument-maker, house, fruitwoods, factory, factories, embodies, classify, atölye-like, articulate, actor-networks


Material Culture


  • Appadurai
  • Gell
  • Latour
  • Vannini
  • Woodward


  • Bijker
  • Callon
  • Law
  • Miller
  • Pinch
  • Riggins
  • Straw

Music and Organology

  • Barz
  • Berliner
  • DeVale
  • Dournon
  • Hood
  • Hornbostel
  • Kartomi
  • Qureshi
  • Rice
  • Sachs


  • Melville
  • Proulx

Coursenotes: SOCI221 Meeting 2

SOCI221/2AA – Sociology of Cyberspace

Meeting 2: History

September 15, 2014


  • Online texts
  • Need to be on campus, in most cases
  • Can download all at once
    Can do VPN
  • Also coursepack volume, H–1132, library…
  • References on Moodle

Work for the Course

  • Contributions (degree of engagement, putting yourself in…)
  • Reflection posts (working with material, sharing insight…)
  • Activities (hands-on, put into practice…)
  • Exams (define concepts, explain position, contrast terms…)


This Past Week

  • “Productivity is for machines. If you can measure it, robots should do it.” – Kevin Kelly, via Stowe Boyd

Online History Activity

  • Noticed Patterns?
  • What has changed?
  • Has society changed in sync?

Required Texts

  • Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.” Atlantic Monthly, 1945.
  • Leiner, Barry M. et al. “A Brief History of the Internet.” ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review 39, no. 5 (2009): 22. doi:10.1145/1629607.1629613.–9

Vannevar Bush

Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.” Atlantic Monthly, 1945.

Technology and Prospective

  • War context
  • Knowledge Management
    • Power of intellect
    • Shoulder of Giants
  • Scale

End of an Era?

  • Industrial Era
    • Productivity
    • Rationality
  • Post-industrial
    • Hyperproductivity
    • Knowledge work (call centres…)
    • Information Overload
    • Getting Things Done (GTD)

Engineering mindset


Leiner et al.

Leiner, Barry M., Vinton G. Cerf, David D. Clark, Robert E. Kahn, Leonard Kleinrock, Daniel C. Lynch, Jon Postel, Larry G. Roberts, and Stephen Wolff. “A Brief History of the Internet.” ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review 39, no. 5 (2009): 22.–9

Internet Infrastructure

  • Plumbing
    • Commodity
    • Reliability
    • Scalability
    • Flow
  • Information Technology
  • Academics
    • Open publication
    • Vendors and inventors

Internet Infrastructure

  • Beyond Web
  • Finances
  • Social aspect
    • Email
    • Community
  • Political Aspect
    • Who decides?
      • “Core group of designers”
      • Global Inequalities

Sociology Crash Course

  • WMDs: Weber, Marx, Durkheim
    • Symbolic Interactionism, Conflict Theory, Functionalism
    • Dialogue, Inequality, Stability
  • Group, socialization, role, status…
  • Power, control, conformity, norms, deviance
  • Culture, subculture, counterculture
  • Feminism as key

Cyberspace Background

Cyberspace Precursors

  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
  • Charles Babbage
  • Alan Turing
  • Norbert Weiner 1948 “Cybernetics”
  • J.C.R. Licklider 1962 “Intergalactic Computer Network”
  • Vernor Vinge 1981 “Cyberspace”

Macy Conferences

The Macy Conference Core

  • Gregory Bateson
  • Lawrence K. Frank
  • Frank Fremont-Smith
  • Margaret Mead
  • Arturo Rosenblueth
  • Warren McCulloch

The Macy Conference Attendees

  • Lawrence Kubie
  • Walter Pitts
  • Paul Lazarsfeld
  • John von Neumann
  • Norbert Wiener
  • Clyde Kluckhohn
  • Roman Jakobson
  • Claude Shannon

Macy Subconference

  • Talcott Parsons
  • Robert Merton

Making Links

Cyberspace Mindmap
(PDF version)

Next Week

Cultural Background

Online Exercise/Activity: Before and After

  • Pick a topic related to social change in an online world (education, dating, labour, publishing, networking…).
  • Find someone who lived through a transition to an online world.
  • Ask that person about the change topic, describing a bit of the context for the course.
  • Share a quick piece of insight from that interaction, not giving away any personal detail.

Required Texts

  • Silver, David. “Looking Backwards, Looking Forward; Cyberculture Studies 1990–2000.” Web Studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital Age. Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Turner, Fred. “Where the Counterculture Met the New Economy: The WELL and the Origins of Virtual Community.” Technology and Culture 46, no. 3 (2005): 485–512. doi:10.1353/tech.2005.0154.


Silver, David. “Looking Backwards, Looking Forward; Cyberculture Studies 1990–2000.” Web Studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital Age. Oxford University Press, 2000.


  • Three phases in Cyberculture studies
  • Enthusiasm to critical thinking
  • Frontier mentality (Web’s soul, “perpetual beta”, libertarianism…)
  • Globalization
  • Conformity
  • Hypertext to UI/UX


Turner, Fred. “Where the Counterculture Met the New Economy: The WELL and the Origins of Virtual Community.” Technology and Culture 46, no. 3 (2005): 485–512. doi:10.1353/tech.2005.0154.


  • Counterculture
    • Peace
    • Community
    • Capitalism
  • Howard Rheingold
    • Virtual Community

Stewart Brand

  • Merry Pranksters
  • Whole Earth Catalog
  • The WELL
  • Global Business Network (GBN)
  • Long Now Foundation
Furthur, Photo by Joe Mabel
Furthur, Photo by Joe Mabel

Furthur, Photo by Joe Mabel

Acid Test


SOCI/ANTH 441 – Material Culture – Week 2: September 10, 2014

SOCI/ANTH 441/2A – Material Culture

Week 2: September 10, 2014


  • Project
  • DiSalvo
  • Magaudda
  • Library session

Working Together


Have you thought about an object?

Part I: Description (October 8)

Questions to ask (of) the object

Object Phenomenology

  • What is it?
  • What are its features?
  • What are its parts, components, materials?
  • How does it feel, smell, sound, look, or even taste?
  • How can it be characterized, categorized, typologized?
  • How is it made, built?

Object Life

  • What is its history?
  • Who has made it, transformed it, distributed it?
  • When was it made?
  • What are its antecedents, ancestors, prerequisites?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Where is it heading?

Object Value

  • What does it mean, represent, signify?
  • What is it worth, to whom?
  • How does it compare to similar objects?
  • What can it do, how can it be used?
  • What does it afford?

Dumit’s Dimensions

  • symbolic, labor, professional, material, technological, political, economic, textual, bodily, historical
  • context, educational, political, mythological, symbolic, labor, professional, material, technological, economic, textual, bodily

Past Week: DiSalvo

Core Text

What did you notice?

Complementary Texts

Other angles on DiSalvo?

Next Week: Magaudda

Magaudda WordCloud

WordCloud for Magaudda

Magaudda Terms

music, practices, practice, consumption, digital, material, objects, ipod, materiality, process, changes, cultural, consumer, circuit, change, object, devices, listening, digitalization, processes, meanings, personal, appropriation, technologies, reconfiguration, dematerialization, sense, listeners, experience, integration, adoption, technology, records, record, gift, computer, performative, culture, articulation, players, formats, consumers, transformation, sts, shift, portable, obsolete, materialities, experiences, everyday, embodied, diffusion, values, value, interviews, emergence, cultures, connected, accessories, adaptation


  • Digital economy (Anderson)
  • Anthropology of consumption (McCracken)
  • STS: Science and Technology Studies (Bijker, Pinch…)
  • ANT: Actor-Network Theory (Latour, Callon, Law)

Further Context

  • Immaterial vs. material
  • Commodification of music
  • Practices and objects
  • Appropriation
  • Circuit of practice

Complementary Texts

  • Texts cited by Magaudda (Bijker, Dant, Douglas, Kopytoff, Latour, Miller, Orlikowski, Pinch, Ritzer, Shove, Vannini)
  • Texts citing Magaudda

Coursenotes: SOCI221, Week 1

SOCI221/2AA – Sociology of Cyberspace

Meeting 1: September 8, 2014


  • Getting acquainted
  • Knowing what to expect
  • Exercises
  • Prepare for next week

Getting to Know One Another

Building Connections

Classroom activities: you have/had to be there…


What can sociology provide in the study of Internet?


Online History

  • Go back to your early online history
  • What has changed?
  • Post something short

Call Me Alex

Alex’s Info

Alex’s “Cyberspace” Biography

  • Twenty Years Online
  • Pre–1993: Dabbling
  • Since 1993: Intense
  • Social media involvement
  • Geek ethnographer
  • Social Web course
  • Community manager

Alex’s Teaching

  • Diversified teaching
  • Constructivism
  • Applied work: participatory action research
  • Emphasis on appropriation

Active Learning

Gym Analogy

  • Own project
  • Effort, practice, and improvement
  • Personal trainer, not coach, drill sergeant, or employer
  • Ask questions

Peer Learning

  • Mutual help
  • Culture of sharing (“gift economy”)
  • Diigo
  • Interactions
  • Peer assessment
  • Forums

Teaching as Community Management

  • Building learning environment together
  • Community?
  • Enabling action
  • Learning network

This Course

Sociology of Cyberspace

What Do We Mean by “Cyberspace”?

Social dimensions

  • Geek Culture
  • Digital divide
  • Inequality
  • Class
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Democracy
  • “Digital Natives”
  • Education
  • Digital literacy
  • Diversity
  • Digital ethnography
  • Posthumanism
  • Appropriation
  • Communities
  • Social identity

This Semester

  • Somewhat hands-on
  • Exercises
  • No need for technical skills
  • Critical thinking


  • All texts available online
  • Diverse
  • Deep sociology
  • Average of two texts per week
  • Study smart: skim then focus
  • Texts as toolbox
  • Find something to share, to discuss

Course Policies

  • Contributions
  • Regular attendance expected
  • Online submissions before class
  • Late penalty
  • No extra credit


  • What do you bring to the course, apart from what’s expected?
  • Active
  • Not necessarily “vocal”
  • Not necessarily in-class
  • Partly self-assessed (October 13)

Reflection Posts

  • Sociological insight
  • Active reading: toolbox, conversation starters
  • Making links
  • Outside sources (including videos, tweets, pictures…)
  • Aggregate grade (on 20) by Alex, at the end
  • Ok if miss one

Qualitative peer-assessment

  • Excellent: ~90%
  • Very Good: ~80%
  • Good: ~70%
  • Average: ~60%
  • Not Good Enough: ~50%
  • Disappointing: ~40%


  • Some start in class
  • More hands-on, informal
  • Also qualitative peer-assessment
  • Aggregate grade (on 10) by Alex, at the end
  • Ok if miss one


  • Essay-type questions, but shorter
  • Compare and contrast, support argument…
  • In-class midterm (October 20)
  • University-scheduled final

Coming Up

Context Is Key

Required Texts

Vannevar Bush

As We May Think


  • From destruction to knowledge
  • Technology and the mind
  • Prospective
  • Memex
  • Partial inspiration for the Internet

Leiner et al.

Brief History of the Internet

Historical Background

  • Time depth
  • Technological details
  • Plumbing analogy
  • Skip sections
  • Focus on sections 6 (The Role of Documentation) through 9 (History of the Future)
  • Explicit issues: key people, communication between humans, defense, fits and starts, adoption patterns…

Between the lines:

  • Where did it happen?
  • Who made decisions?
  • Society shapes technology or technology causes social change?

SOCI/ANTH 441 – Material Culture – Week 1 (September 3, 2014)

SOCI/ANTH 441/2A – Material Culture

Week 1: September 3, 2014
Alex Enkerli

Course Outline

SOCI/ANTH 441 – Material Culture – Course Outline (PDF)


  • Getting acquainted
  • Discuss project
  • Discuss work with texts

Next Week

Meeting in the Library

  • Meeting in LB 203
  • Before class: create account on Zotero or RefWorks
  • Core text: DiSalvo
  • Complementary Text

Getting to Know Each Other

Classroom Activity: Our Favourite Things

(You have/had to be there…)


  • Ethnographic disciplines
  • Collaborative learning
  • Informality
  • Less oriented toward material culture

This Seminar

  • History of the course
  • Cross-listed and interdisciplinary
  • Project-based
  • Upper-level
  • Deeper work with texts

Material Culture

  • Nonhuman objects with humans
  • Things, artefacts, stuff, matter, space
  • Physical, concrete, tangible
  • Diverse approaches
  • Includes technology


Doing anthropology and/or sociology with a thing

Three parts

  1. Description of a Thing
  2. Presentation
  3. Final Paper

Actual object, thing, site, material

  • Tangible, concrete, physical
  • Nonhuman
  • As specific as possible (not generic): specimen, item, place
  • May be mundane, everyday, obvious
  • Can repeat
  • Can be an object you create

Start with object

  • Approach will come later
  • Can mix approaches and object
  • Obvious pairings: elevators and stratification, exercise
    equipment and group membership

Part I: Description (October 8)

  • Physical characteristics
  • Sensory dimensions
  • Genealogy
  • Biography
  • Lifecycle
  • Not encyclopedic

Part II: “Show & Tell” (November 5–26)

  • Share with the class or with small group
  • Well-informed
  • Connected with the course
  • From “Work in Progress” to Deep Analysis
  • Giving and getting feedback

Part III: Report (December 5)

  • Bring together
  • Case studies
  • Anthropological and/or sociological insight
  • Can be ethnographic (fieldwork, interviews…)
  • Can create object with others
  • Can be creative or artistic
  • Can be experimental

Working with Texts

Core Texts

  • All online (links to PDF files, available on-campus)
  • Diverse
  • Work in depth with each

Complementary Texts

  • Post “One-Liner” (sentence or two) in forum
  • Cited, related, citing
  • Angle, perspective, approach
  • Suggestions
  • Reserved books

Core Texts WordCloud

WordCloud for Core Texts

Core Terms

Network Graph of Terms in Core Texts

List of Core Texts

  • DiSalvo: design (80), politics (33), practice (30), participants
    (22), small-scale (20).
  • Magaudda: music (156), practice (75), practices (78), consumption (70), digital (61).
  • Bates: saz (136), instruments (105), instrument (69), turkish (33), musical (39).
  • Griswold: art (78), objects (67), museum (37), position (36), exhibition (30).
  • Pickering: toilets (83), toilet (67), composting (31), state (31), water (29).
  • Prell: connected (82), kids (62), technology (55), teri (49), jim (47).
  • Van Osch: affordances (74), application (49), group (48), groups (48), generativity (39).
  • Vilar Rosales: home (69), domestic (35), migration (32), contemporary (25), things (30).
  • Ylimaunu: mirrors (74), street (55), towns (39), gossip (38), century (37).
  • Geismar: things (74), materialisation (32), material (50), social (49), oceania (23).
  • Greer: indigenous (70), heritage (66), archaeological (45), people (52), sites (37).

Course Logistics

  • Seminar format
  • Attendance essential
  • Contributions
  • Come prepared: core and complementary texts before class
  • “Prewrite”

Next Week

DiSalvo and “Makers”

  • Short text
  • Digital fabrication (FabLabs, Hackerspaces, Makerspaces…)
  • Design, technology, production
  • Prosumption
  • Collaboration, participation
  • Artefacts and their Politics

DiSalvo WordCloud

WordCloud for DiSalvo

DiSalvo Terms

participants, design, politics, small-scale, prototype, bugbot,
products, technologies, project, artifacts, insects, farming, farmers,
prototyping, designers, growbot, garden, farms, designed, commitments,
political, participatory, sts, industrial, materials, workshop,
technology, product, permaculture, making, farmer, agriculture,
prototypes, robotics, winner’s, artifact, community, agricultural,
winner, tomatoes, sensing, publics, flags, crops, enforce, bridges,
technological, automation, robot, reimagining, pesticides, objects,
object, latour, insect, harvester, dialogic, collaborative, cardboard,
automated, working, tomato, small-business, racist, politicized,
langdon, devices, ecological, conversation, critical, control,
decisions, decision, beaches, doctrine, agency, ag-tech, workers, wire,
trap, toys, things, sustainable, space, small, scrap, robust, robots,
rows, ratto, projects, producing, problematic, plants, plant,
pheromones, participating, participate, owners, materialities,

Complementary Texts


Meeting in the Library

  • Meeting in LB 203
  • Before class: create account on Zotero or RefWorks
  • Core text: DiSalvo
  • Sentence or two about a complementary text