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2014/2015  KAN-CSOCV1009U  Mobs, Swarms, Anonymous: Organizing Digital Culture

English Title
Mobs, Swarms, Anonymous: Organizing Digital Culture

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc of Social Science
Course coordinator
  • Renee Ridgway - MPP
  • Timon Beyes - MPP
Administrative contact: Karina Ravn Nielsen, 3818 3782, electives.mpp@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Management of Information and Knowledge Management
  • Organization
Last updated on 08-04-2014
Learning objectives
  • Analyze and interpret the effects of the ubiquity and pervasiveness of digital media
  • Identify a relevant case and reflect on the logics and manifestations of new forms of organizing in digital culture
  • Deduce implications for managerial and organizational practice
Course prerequisites
Active class participation is strongly recommended.
Mobs, Swarms, Anonymous: Organizing Digital Culture:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 4 students in the group
Individual oral exam.
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
If written individually, the synopsis must be of maximum 5 pages.
Assignment type Synopsis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period October
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
Organizations and organizational processes evolve in correlation with the evolution of technics; they are invariably shaped by technical media. From Wikipedia to Wikileaks; from the manifold interventions of ‘tactical media’ to ‘smart’ and ‘flash’ mobs; from social media collectivities to the weak but contagious ties of tweeting; from Anonymous to drone warfare – there now is a sprawling list of organizational phenomena that would have been unthinkable only ten years ago. In this sense, what is ‘new’ about new media, indeed a “mediatic regime change” (Hansen, 2010: 180), is today’s transformation of connectivity itself, which goes beyond ‘mere’ developments with regard to the exchange of content. This mediatic regime change affects the logics of organization and profoundly re-organizes human capacities for interaction and collaboration, but also surveillance and control.
This course thus sets out to explore and find answers to a simple question: How do the developments broadly referred to as ‘new media’ – comprising a heterogeneous assemblage of new gadgets, new codes and protocols, new inflections of mass media as well their effects on communities, businesses, politics and culture in general – affect organization?
On our way through the strange new world of these connectivities and collectivities, students are asked to
  1. engage with current net culture research and its findings;
  2. conduct case studies on particular (and particularly striking) developments of connecting people and things (aka organizing);
  3. ponder the socio-political effects of their examples;
  4. decipher and reflect on the implications for the practices of organization and management.
Teaching methods
The course will consist of input lectures as well as text- and research-based dialogical sessions.
Further Information
Changes in course schedule may occur
Monday 13.30-15.10, week 36
Monday 13.30-17.00, week 37-43
Expected literature
Castells, M. (2012) Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age. Cambridge, UK: Polity.
Dean, Jodi (2012): The Communist Horizon. London.
Galloway, Alexander R./Thacker, Eugene (2007) The Exploit. A Theory of Networks. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Gere, Charlie (2008): Digital Culture, second edition. London.
Hansen, M. B. N. (2010) ‘New Media’. In W. J. Mitchell & M. B. N. Hansen (Eds.), Critical Terms for Media Studies (pp. 172-185). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Lovink, G. (2011) Networks without a Cause: A Critique of Social Media. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Rossiter, N. (2006) Organized Networks: Media Theory, Creative Labour, New Institutions. Rotterdam: NAi Pulishers.
Shirky, Clay (2008) Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations. London.
Stiegler, B. (1998) Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus.Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Terranova, T. (2004) Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age. London: Pluto Press.
Last updated on 08-04-2014