Living in the Digital World 1: Putting Theory into Practice

What can we do that matters?

7th January 2016

Final Assessments:

Group Presentation (25%)

  • 5-10 minutes presentation on a subject covered in the previous week’s lecture.

Group Manifesto (25%)

  • Friday 26th February 2016
  • Create a manifesto expressing an idea you believe in.
  • Identify your values and priorities; explain the significance of your manifesto; determine what actions to take to carry out and implement these values.
  • Should take the form of a digital artifact and include four different modes of communication; written – oral – visual – non-verbal

Individual Critical Review (50%)

  • 1500 words
  • Monday 29th February 2016
  • Review 3 group presentation (one from each of the weeks in which you are not presenting)
  • Take in-depth notes
  • Participate in a Q&A at the end of each presentation
  • Evaluate critically and analytically you’re chosen presentations in a balanced but rigorous way.


What is a Manifesto?

  • Public declaration of policy and aims
    • Key beliefs from a political party
  • “The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world-market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country.”
    • We find it interesting because the bourgeoisie glamourize exploitation through the character of production and consumption in every country.


Manifesto is a short document providing an overview of a set of key ideas associated with an issue or a group or a cause.

Manifestos include:

  • Argument: they take a clear and precise stand on an issue
  • Context: they explain in detail which social/historical situation they are responding to and why this response is urgent and necessary.
  • Evidence: they introduce examples to support their stance.

Activity: so what?

  • Why do we need a Manifesto?

To justify your opinion

They show the radical opinion of something in the world – a manifesto is a bold declaration; it goes straight to the point.

  • Who writes them?

Anyone could write a manifesto but they need someone in the power

Anyone who wants to make a change

  • Who are they addressing?

Marx and Engels wrote it for everybody

Targeting different people to notice

  • What do they want to achieve?

A change in a particular area

  • What warrants a Manifesto?

To justify your opinion

  • How do we decide what is important?

Its very subjective some people think it is important but other people might not find it important.

  • What is a ‘good’ cause?

Something that has a positive outcome for everyone such as the world

  • What is a not-so-good cause?

Something that has a negative outcome for everyone


Hitler used a Manifesto by saying everyone who is German with blonde hair and blue eyes is the master race.


The mother of all Manifestos: The communist Manifesto

  • Marx and Engels wrote the communist Manifesto in 1888. The Manifesto painted a new and radical narrative of history, and was the model for many subsequent manifestos.
  • Today we will look at the Manifesto with contemporary eyes.


First bullet point

We are the 99%:

  • Showing awareness for different topics
  • They give people a voice “we don’t claim to speak for anyone, we merely present stories”
  • They are a political slogan widely used and coined by the Occupy movement.
  • Use on tumblr and launched in August 2011


  • It is a tactic of the black liberation movement
  • Its created by Diane Nash, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi
  • They try to understand who black people are
  • They define the state of violence and the current state of the black union.
  • It was a response to anti black racism.
  • It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.

Beyoncé feminism:

  • Beyoncé has always considered herself as a feminist although she was afraid of the word.
  • She says “men and women balance each other out and we have to get to a point where we are comfortable with appreciating each other”
  • She also states “she has a lot of empathy for women and the pressures we go through”
  • The world don’t see her as a feminist due to her clothes she wears on stage, she is still seen as very sexualized for the male gaze.
  • She isn’t seen as a feminist due to the colour of her skin

Second bullet point

All three topics have the same manifesto by focusing on ‘getting the word out’ so then the public can understand and see what is really happening.

Third bullet point

Microlevel: All three issues and ideas can become apart of a microlevel due to the personal awareness of what they are specifically telling us about the people.

Macrolevel: All three issues and ideas can become apart of the macrolevel because it focuses on individuals, families and society in different areas.

Activity 2

Mila’s Universe (2014) “if you hadn’t heard, Emma Watson gave a speech on feminism at the U.N. over the weekend”. Blog post.

  • Emma Watson is seen as a stereotypical young person. She is a good role model.
  • Beyoncé is highly inflectional to the world – but people say she cant be a feminist due to what she wears.
  • Racism is still happening and black women could not connect to the movement in their daily lives due to racism – although Beyoncé is allowing them now to connect to the movement – no one can use racism as an excuse as many people have accepted to not be racist.
  • Emma Watson is seen to be more influential on younger teenagers whereas Beyoncé can influence adults.
  • Emma Watson just said the same usual speech on feminism whereas if she brought up topics about race, class, sexuality etc it would have been game changing instead of keeping these topics from the feminist movement.
  • “The broader face of feminism is white” hence why Beyoncé is being rejected to become feminist.

Petersen, A. (2013) “Beyoncé, Feminism, Ambivalence”. Blog Post.

  • Beyoncé is posing with the sexualized costume to show women that they can also do this and not be ashamed or worried.
  • Beyonce’s performance at the Super Bowl, co-insides with the feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey’s “Visual pleasure and the Narrative Cinema”
  • Petersen critises everything that Beyoncé does by saying she is ambivalent.
  • Petersen says she is committing herself to sexual objectification however Beyoncé is told to wear those clothes due to the icon she has become in the world, but even if she chose them herself why should it be such a problem as it shows women that they shouldn’t be afraid of showing skin even if men are perverted.
  • Petersen states that Beyoncé is appearing to be a feminist however Petersen doesn’t give clear points to why she cant be she just focuses on the way Beyoncé dresses.
  • Petersen says that Beyoncé is basically sexualizing herself.
  • Petersen states that Beyoncé knows that sexualisation is there but she runs it in her own way.
  • The reason Beyoncé has so much power is because she is not too much, she is like a happy medium, “she strut the right tone between empowered and objectified.

Living in the Digital World 1 – Putting Theory into Practice

Celebrities as Opinion Leaders

Week 2

  • What is Politics?
  • Who should be part of it?
  • To do what?

It’s all fine: the (big) equal society:

  • Post-racial
  • Homonormative
  • Post-feminist
  • Class-less

Personality politics: affective capitalism

  • Due to personal feelings – the way the person comes across rather than their political laws in personality.

The (non) politics of celebrity:

e.g. Beyoncé saying she is a feminist

  • The crisis of ideology – the neoliberal subject
    • Controlling neoliberalism
    • Individualism and the invisibility of class
    • Entrepreneur of the self
    • Disciplined
    • Self-reliant, responsible
    • Risk-taker free agent
    • Affective politics
  • What is celebrity politics?
    • Bob Geldof – 1984 – organized a charity concert it was driven by emotions rather then political emotions.
    • Money was not well delivered – not distributed
    • We still think the same today – ‘we can end poverty’
    • Well mean (but badly executed)
    • Depoliticized and de-fanged
  • What do we do with it?
    • Bridge or Chasm
    • We start caring about politics because celebrities do.
    • Celebrity activism – can it make change?
    • Engagement is positive – or maybe not?
  • Celebrity culture puts spotlight on political involvement, raises consciousness and promotes a common agenda: it provides resemblance and delegation (Couldry and Markham 2007)
  • “Despite best intentions, in the end technocratic change colludes with the system” (Rojek 2014: 130)

#Feminism: increase hashtag use – suggesting influence and engagement – may offer positive outcome

What type of politics?

  • Strange Bedfellows
    • Unlikely companions or allies; often used in the phrase “politics makes strange bedfellows.”
    • The erasing of ideology


  • Bob Geldof’s – more non-African artists featured on his track, however there was one African artist featured called Fuse ODG


Workshop: preparing the group research trip to Birmingham

Thursday 21st January 2016 at 9am meet at Coventry Train Station

Cause: Trains

  • Get trains to run a bit later in the night not just finish at 11.55pm
  • Student discounts
  • Ask people who work at the train station/around the streets to get different opinions (permission)
  • Camera equipment – rent
  • Shots of trains/Cov and Birmingham station
  • It will benefit students as it becomes safer – saves cab fair
  • It will allow people to commit later from work and not have to worry about missing the train
  • Its much more economical
  • It will help improve student cities


On the trip:

  • Interview people
    • People who work at the train station
      • When are the busiest times at the station
      • Has anything bad happened with students or locals
    • People who are catching trains
    • People on the streets of Birmingham
    • Ask students around Coventry
  • Rush hour at the station – amount of people and how dangerous it can be


Methods to do the manifesto:

  • Interviews – to get peoples opinions
  • Film or voice record the interview
  • Allows more jobs for peopl


Refer to all stations – not just Birmingham and Cov

Refer to the underground as well


It’s a reasonable idea however may not be resolved due to lack of power in society.


  1. It is useful? Yes, it will not just help students but help everyone
  2. Is it feasible? Yes
  3. What can you do? Make it a reasonable idea which people think about even if it doesn’t get resolved
  4. What is there already? They already have trains running just they stop running at certain times
  5. What crucial questions should be asked? Busiest times, general opinions on the train times if it’s a good idea to run later and ask people who work their if it will happen

Presentation skills workshop


  • Take turns with speaking in the group
  • Strong opening topics and outlines
  • Concise and detailed overview of your subject
  • Strong finish


  • Have minimal text
  • Bullet points; one at a time
  • Audience attention: reading vs listening
  • Structure: when to read + when to listen


Perfect alignment of a presentation:

  • Timing
  • Words
  • Images


Good and bad presentations;

  • A good presentation is when you interact with the audience
  • A good presentation is when the audience feels they are involved and the speakers give personal opinions which breaks down the 4th wall
  • A good presentation is innovation
  • A bad presentation is where it is monotone
  • A bad presentation is here they read stuff off slides
  • A bad presentation is where there is no interest shown
  • A bad presentation is when the speakers take forever to get to the point they focus on quantity not quality.

Week 3 

We went to Birmingham to find research for our manifesto.

The non-politics of University life


Week 4

Student Politics

Kent state university, Ohio shooting 1970 – 4 students killed – 9 students wounded by Ohio national guards due to Vietnam War protests. 58,000 people killed during the Vietnam wars.

  • The event triggered a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of colleges and universities to close
  • The guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.


University of strategic optimism

  • Based on the principle of free and Open University
  • Lecture held at Lloyds TSB Bank




Group 1 – non-politics of Cyrus (ebrity)

Miley Cyrus

  • Good girl gone bad – Hannah Montana Disney ‘princess’ to a wild Cryus
  • Lots of charities supporter: LGBT etc
  • Miley Cyrus is pansexual and has gender fluids
  • Donated to aids charities
  • “Role model” big change
  • Activism – hashtag #freethenipple
    • Why are they censored?
      • Not allowed to feed babies in public – however – men are allowed to show their nipples – it’s the same thing?
    • “I feel like I’m on of the biggest feminists in the world because I tell women to not be scared of anything” Miley Cyrus
    • Bringing a homeless person to the awards – political awareness
    • “Her generations most unlikely social activist and also one of its most powerful” Amada Petrusich, Paper, 9 June 2015
    • ‘The SMILERS’ – Mileys fan nickname
      • They are called smilers cause Miley makes them feel happy
      • They support her and call it a movement
      • Miley has lost fans view the ‘wild Miley’ as she is seen as a bad role model
    • Contradicting her own hashtag of freethenipple by wearing sexualized clothes
      • To group 1 they think its ‘sexy’ as she is breaking the boundaries
      • She is denaturalizing the constructed gender – the more you exaggerate it the more it becomes a performance (Judith Butler)
      • The more she dresses like this the more we will get used to it
    • She found a new religion in LGBT Movement – not follows God’s – hence why she calls Christians ‘fundamental conservatives’


Presenting the presentation:

  • Not looking at us
  • Not making us feel involved
  • Looking at technology – hasn’t learnt lines or worked on the presentation
  • Always looking at mafalda not us
  • Not knowing who would go next
  • They have good quotes and background research on their topic
  • Deeper research on people who have given their own opinion on Miley Cyrus’ ‘role change from Hannah Montana to Miley Cyrus being naked’
  • Everyone spoke but some spoke without understanding what to say – almost winging it.
  • Answered questions well – given more deeper research about Miley Cyrus saying “she is only acting this way because she is breaking all the rules of what she wasn’t allowed to do when she worked with Disney – so she is basically letting her teenage years of being wild come out.”
  • On phones whilst still presenting!


Group 2 – the non-politics of celebrity

Mark Ruffalo

  • America Actor
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Humanitarian
  • Activist – accidental environmentalist’

Fracking boom – refers to the procedure of creating fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting fluid into cracks to force them further open. The larger fissures allow more oil and gas to flow out of the formation and into the wellbore, from where it can be extracted.

  • Hydraulic fracturing
  • Flooding and water quality
  • Public Engagement
    • Uses social media to get in contact with followers
    • Public like him
  • Ruffalo utitlses the success and popularity of his mainstream career in order to direct attention towards both his smaller film projects alongside his activism
    • Social media presence has contributed to his perception as a more ‘in touch’ contemporary political figure.
  • The Oscar boycott
  • Public prevalent opinion


Presenters presenting:

  • Standing on different sides
  • Talking to us – allowing us to feel involved
  • Know what to talk to about not reading off technology
  • Winging/reading off the board
  • Allowing the audience to laugh – giving jokes making us feel wanted
  • Given facts but not explained fully had to Google to understand
  • Monotone as if they aren’t interested in what they are presenting – be more upbeat!
  • Good further research – even though it was work that we read as a whole group – maybe should have found their own work.


Group 4

Ellen DeGeneres

  • Talk show host
  • Comedian
  • Animal rights activist
  • Prominent gay/ lesbian mode
  • When Ellen came out gay it caused lots of controversy – she had several setbacks after she came out publicly.
  • People weren’t ready to accept she was a lesbian when she came out – her show lost popularity – producers had to add ‘parental advisory explicit content’
  • Named Ellen the most influential celebrity
    • As she pushed the gay movement
  • Her followers aren’t just LBGT but also homeless/animal shelters
  • Ellen stands for LGBT Rights, Human Rights, Animal Rights etc
  • She has spent over 50million dollars on other people
  • Ellen gets politicians/celebrities etc on her show
  • Celebrity neoliberalism
    • Neoliberalism is about social fairness and equality
      • Ellen is trying to destroy existing labels
      • She is using her popularity to raise awareness issues close to her heart.


Presenting the presentation:

  • Reading off notes
  • Not making the audience feel involved
  • Not speaking loud enough – cant hear
  • Monotone – not interested making it boring for the audience
  • Good further reading
  • Giving facts about same sex unions – telling us that same sex union was only
  • Disagreeing on quotes – showing their own opinion
  • Obviously did a lot of research on the topic as they know a lot about Ellen – giving their own opinion as well as saying quotes/facts that aren’t on the board.
  • Some presenters are upbeat making the presentation interesting.


The (non) politics of everyday life


Week 5

Robert Moses and Transportation infrastructure

The Internet as an equalizer?

  • “It turns out that the techno-utopians were wrong. The same biases that configure unmediated aspects of everyday life also shape the mediated experiences people have on the internet” Boyd, its complicated, 160
  • “Social media magnifies many aspects of daily life including racism and bigotry. Some people use social media to express insensitive and hateful views, but others use the same technologies to publicly shame, and in some cases threaten, people who they feel are violating social decorum” Boyd


Teens and Race and Social Media

  • “When I analyzed friending patterns on social network sites with youth, I consistently found that race mattered” Boyd, 165
  • “Although the technology makes it possible in principle to socialize wit h anyone online, in practice teens connect to the people that they know and with whom they have the most in common” Boyd
  • “Although many teens connect to everyone they know on sites like Facebook this doesn’t mean that they cross unspoken cultural boundaries. Communities where race is fraught maintain the same systems of segregation online and off” Boyd


MySpace vs. Facebook:

  • “Its not really racists, but I guess you could say that. I not really into racism but I think that MySpace now is more like ghetto or whatever” Boyd, 167
  • MySpace is known as being tacky and cluttered
  • Facebook is known as more clean and tidy
  • Taste is not simply a matter of personal preference; it is the product of cultural dynamics and social structure.
  • In Distinction, philosopher Pierre Bourdieu describes how one’s education and class position shape perceptions of taste and how distinctions around aesthetics and tastes are used to reinforce class in everyday life.
  • “The linguistic makers that teens use to describe Facebook and MySpace – and the values embedded in those makers- implicitly mark class and race whether teens realize it or not” Boyd, 169
  • “The higher castes of high school moves to Facebook. It was more cultures and less cheesy. The lower class usually was content to stick to MySpace. Any high school student who has Facebook will tell you that MySpace users are more likely to be barely educated and obnoxious. Like Peet’s is more cultures than Starbucks, and jazz is more cultures than bubblegum pop, and like Macs are more cultures than PC’s, Facebook is of a cooler caliber than MySpace” Boyd, 169


Networks Matter: Implications and Effects

  • “Who you know shapes what you know”
  • “Stranger danger”



  • We don’t live in a postracial society, and social media is not the cultural remedy that some people hope it would become.


Activity 1 – create a timeline of the social media platforms you have used in your life.


  • 2007 – MSN, BEBO
  • 2008 – BBM
  • 2009 – FACEBOOK
  • 2010 – SKYPE
  • 2011 – TWITTER
  • 2012 – TUMBLR
  • 2013 –
  • 2015 – PINTEREST
  • 2016 – YOUTUBE, YIK YAK


Activity 2 – looking at your social media chart, consider who your closest friends on social media are, do you think that Boyd’s findings apply to your own life?


No I don’t think Boyd’s findings apply to my own life, due to the fact I went to an international school in Abu Dhabi and have a diverse range of friends from different backgrounds and race etc. My whole friendship group is different.


Group Presentation

Group 5 – Politics of university life

  • We often take educations for granted.

What is university for?

  • Education
  • Degree
  • Friends
  • Independence


Online student activism

  • Since the 90s activism has been happening
    • “electronic mail is a means to really have a participatory democracy” because “everyone can have their voices heard” Elaine R. Holenton
    • “Electronic mail has totally changed the way students do political activism” Jeremy Smith

Anti-Rape Activism

  • #Carrythatweight
  • Emma started the mattress performance to not only address the accused but the university into taking action.
  • Originally the activism started as a ‘one man-bad’ protest which was not online, the online support she received from students across the country
  • Which was run by students through students
    • Global village helped


In the modern world, digital is the fastest median redound in such cases as well as played a positive roll in Emma study

  • Emma received


Tumblr posts

  • Saying that she was lying about the rape
  • Apparently she wasn’t telling the truth but carried on the campaign
  • The ‘rapist’ sued the uni for saying they supported gender segregation
  • Posters went round the uni saying ‘pretty little liar’ with a picture of Emma. This went round the uni whilst she was protesting


The importance of online to the campaign

  • The campaign went huge online and it trended on twitter worldwide
  • Emma became a symbol
  • She became a voice of neurobolism


Social Media helps create equality through online profiles where classes and gender are not seen as separate

  • David Cameron says you can get out that class – social ladder

Anyone can be raped – would have it been the same if Emma was a man or not?


Does online Activism work – yes it does through the hashtag the uni sorted it whereas there is a downside actions performed via the internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement.


Is it all talk or is there action?


Hyperlink Analysis:

“Links between sites on the web can be non-hierarchical, or more lateral between individual so that each individual can be bother producer and consumer of information”

Presenting the Presentation:

  • Not talking much
  • Showing more videos (showing their skills)
  • All standing on different sides so you can see everyone
  • Very energetic
  • Going to fast so people cant read it and understand
  • Not all the group know what to say – almost panicking
  • Not got a lot of quotes
  • Lots of background research on the topic though
  • Not all spoke but obviously helped with something else
  • Lots of questions to make us as an audience think about

The non-politics of Pop Culture

Thursday 18th February 2016

Week 6


  • Who controls the flow pop culture?
  • Who owns it?


Story 1 – writing is something intellectuals do but everyone uses social media

Story 2 – John Philip Sousa – buy a record and play in on phonography. Sousa thought people would forget how to make music.


Read/Write culture (making your own) vs. Read only culture (we have access to music so why make more)


Story 3 –Prohibition – alcohols was bad for the USA so was made illegal then was unmade illegal because they realized that the way to make people have less alcohol was not to ban it.


The observation

Writing is a democratic activity. Learn the respect of how hard it is to create a piece of writing.


“So long as you cite, you can take whatever you want and use it for your purpose in creating. Imagine if the rule were different; imagine you went around and asked for permission to quote. Imagine how absurd it would be to write the Hemingway estate and ask for permission


The argument

Copyright is out of control; we must reimagine it.

  • Copyright wars
  • Lessig doesn’t want to abolish copyright he wants to control it
    • “This isn’t the solution the proper regulation has to reflect changes in technology” (Lessig)


Evolution of the Internet 1 – Download Culture

“A period of extraordinary innovation to extend read-only culture” Lessig


Evolution of the Internetremix culture

  • Either create or remix it – read/write culture. Able to actively produce media and not just consume it.
  • Remix culture is just writing for the twenty first century


There’s a different law applied to writing and quoting people to using their images. It is okay to cite without needing to ask permission but images can lead to copyright violation


Remix vs. Copyright:

  • Expectation for images is that you ask of permission first.
  • Architecture of copyright clashes with the architecture of the copy
  • Sharing involves copying


Evolution of the Internet – Hybrid Economies

Commercial vs. sharing vs. hybrid

  • Hybrid economy: one where a commercial entity leverages a sharing economy or a sharing entity leverages a commercial economy.

“I think there is enormous promise in these hybrid combinations of free culture and free markets. This presents an enormous potential for the Internet economy to drive value out” Lessig


Changing copyright

  1. Stop obsessing over copies – overtime you share a file it takes a copy, everything you do on the internet involves copying data
    1. Distinguish amateurs and professionals – Amateurs need to be exempt from the law of copyright
  2. Stop cracking down on piracy – the past decade has proved the war on piracy is not working
    1. Introduce a new licensing system
    2. Creative commons – makes sharing easier, if you upload an image then people can but they have to cite you to be bale to use that image.



“Either we will force our kids to stop creating, or they will force on us a revolution around copyright law. In my view both options are not acceptable” Lessig

  • Not completely abolish copyright law but sharing and creating has changed – cracking down hurts digital creativity.