Convened by Dr Alison Powell

This course investigates the significance of data in communications, social and cultural life. It introduces core theoretical perspectives on data and information from a social scientific perspective, and outlines research approaches that take account of the contemporary influence of data within communication and society. The course begins with the social history of data, providing a strong baseline from which to analyse the contemporary position of data. The course will provide students with conceptual tools that will help unpack the logic of data, and train them to critically analyse phenomena such as big data, algorithmic regulation and augmented civic space. Its focus on contemporary issues allows an investigation of the politics and culture of data production, and the use of data as evidence in a range of fields including politics, advocacy and audience research.