Servizi per la didattica

Media & the city. Understanding societal transitions through digital methods


A.A. 2022/23

Course Language


Degree programme(s)

Doctorate Research in Urban And Regional Development - Torino

Course structure
Teaching Hours
Lezioni 15
Teacher Status SSD h.Les h.Ex h.Lab h.Tut Years teaching
Monaci Sara Professore Associato SPS/08 15 0 0 0 2

SSD CFU Activities Area context
*** N/A ***    
This PhD course is part of the thematic path "Social, Economic, and Political Sciences" of the PhD programme in Urban and Regional Development. The pervasiveness of digital media and networks have deeply transformed social practices located in spaces into virtual and digital interactions rooted in digital media environments. The leap to the so called ?space of flows? (instead of the space of places) (Castells, 1996) has been, according to multiple perspectives, either a revolutionary and disruptive shift as long as a more homogeneous transition toward different forms of urban practices such as social relations, cultural and media consumption and civic engagement. The course presents and discusses the current international debate on societal and digital transitions through the lens of media theory and through the Digital methods methodological approach. Digital methods represent a set of methodologies and analysis techniques of "born digital" data (social media data, archives web, search engines) aimed at analysing and understanding social facts - political events, current news, communication strategies - relating to contemporary phenomena. The relatively new and unexplored field of research does reference to the studies already started by Rogers (Doing Digital Methods, Sage, 2019) and falls into the broader context of computational social science, an empirical research approach based on digital data and simulations rather than on social groups or indviduals. At the same time, the methodological approach of the Digital methods differs from Big Data research because it explores the interpretative and cultural dimensions of digital content and favors, at volumes of quantitatively important data, digital contents that better reflect the specific affordances of media platforms: a research with Digital methods will therefore prefer, for example, to an evaluation of quantitative data, the qualitative interpretation of hashtag maps deemed more meaningful than the particularities of the Twitter platform and its own logic of dissemination and content sharing.
Three main topics are scrutinized: 1. Media theory approaches to understanding the main digital transition related to the social phenomena mentioned above (8h); 2.Social relations, cultural and media consumption and civic engagement in media online environments such as social networks and social media (7h); 3. Digital methods strategies and techniques aimed at understanding different dimensions of societal transitions (6 h Tutor); A seminar activity is especially devoted to strengthening the following skills: (i) read and understand articles published in international multidisciplinary journals ( and (ii) write a scientific text in the field of media studies (writing style, argumentation mode, use of bibliographic sources, etc.).
In presenza
On site
Presentazione report scritto
Written report presentation
P.D.1-1 - Febbraio
P.D.1-1 - February

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