WiSe 14/15: The Evolution of Culture and Cultural Consumption
Christian von Scheve
Information for students
Please note: the class starts in the second week of the semester, i.e. on 23. October 2014. The missed class will be made up for during the semester.
The seminar deals with the question of how culture changes over time. On a micro-level, the seminar looks at theories of cultural transmission and cultural learning as foundational principles of sociocultural evolution. To this end, we will discuss works from disciplines such as social anthropology and linguistics and relate them to well-established sociological conceptions of culture and cognition. On the macro-level, the seminar attends to theories of longer-term processes of social and cultural change, as reflected in classical accounts of societal evolution and contemporary theories of modernization and globalization. A particular emphasis of the seminar occupying a middle-ground between the micro- and macro-explanations will be on the links between technological advances and cultural practices, especially cultural consumption. Here, we will discuss the ways in which the advent of online techniques such as collaborative filtering and recommender systems and the increasing use of algorithms drive cultural change on a global scale. Exam: Term paper (3.000 words) or three essays (à 1.000 words) close
Introductory readings Ritzer, G. (2004). The McDonaldization of Society. Revised New Century Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Pariser, E. (2011). The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think. New York: Penguin. Sperber, D. & Hirschfeld, L. (2004). The cognitive foundations of cultural stability and diversity. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(1), 40-46. close
15 Class schedule
Thu, 2014-10-23 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2014-10-30 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2014-11-06 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2014-11-13 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2014-11-20 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2014-11-27 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2014-12-04 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2014-12-11 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2014-12-18 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2015-01-08 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2015-01-15 14:00 - 16:00 Thu, 2015-01-22 14:00 - 16:00 Mon, 2015-01-26 12:00 - 14:00 Thu, 2015-02-05 14:00 - 16:00 Mon, 2015-02-09 12:00 - 14:00