Digital Industries and Internet Cultures (P4102)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

Are digital industries and internet-based industries dependant on social and cultural norms in ways other industries are not? This module will explore role of social norms and cultures as central components of digital industries in relation to internet cultures. The idea of an economic sector based on digital sociality will be briefly contrasted with economic sectors based on creativity (cultural industriers), extraction industries, financial industries and manufacturing industries.

The module will explore at least three examples of internet cultures:

  • gaming and the role of fans as producers
  • Google and the role of social connections in their advertising
  • free and open source software production as a community.

The nature of ‘the social’ and of internet cultures will then be analysed looking at the theories of sociality like sub-cultures and collective identity, and the nature of labour in digital industries. The module will then reflect on digital industries and internet cultures in relation to a number of further case studies, trying to develop a general model of what a digital industry might be understood as.

Such case studies may include:

  • virtual worlds
  • journalism
  • social media.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 300 hours of work. This breaks down into 22 hours of contact time and 278 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.