DK 106: Culture & Norms in the Information Society
Unit 2: Essay Assignment

Writing Assignment 2 Description:

Write an essay in which you analyze and evaluate your online identity, considering how it is constructed by your participation in online services, social networks, blogs, and so on. Consider some of these questions in your response:

  • Do you feel you are adequately represented online?
  • What are your short and long term goals and how does your online identity reflect them?
  • What aspects of your online identity would you change?
  • How would you modify your online identity? 

Your essay should incorporate at least two of the articles, books, analytical tools, or other materials assigned in class or in the course blog.

  • Formulate a thesis statement for your writing assignment and produce an outline of the arguments you plan to make. Identify at least three relevant sources to support your arguments.
  • Post your thesis statement on our Facebook group ( by Friday, October 5.
  • Your essay is due in your MiSide subgroup on Friday, October 12.
Tuesday, October 9 Readings and Assignment - Modified

Tuesday, October 9

  • Readings:
    • Baym, Nancy K. Personal Connections in the Digital Age. “Chapter 6: Digital Media in Relational Development and Maintenance,” and “Conclusion: The Myth of Cyberspace”
    • Banks, Michael A. “Introduction” and assigned chapter in Blogging Heroes.
    • Explore the blog referred to in your assigned chapter.
    • Graff, Gerald and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say/I Say. Chapter 14: “Analyze This.”
  • Activities:
    • Read about at least two bloggers in Blogging Heroes. Be prepared to talk about them in class.

This is our online discussion space for the class.

  • You will need a Facebook account to participate. Contact me if you have any concerns about this. 
  • Apply to join the group. I will confirm your membership as soon as possible.
  • Feel free to use this space to share, comment, and post material related to the class.


Movies about surveillance

Two movie recommendations from students:

Shortbus (2006) - quite sexual (apparently the opening scene is quite surprising - Tord says half the audience left when he saw it at the movies) but very good, a few students say, and they say that surveillance and sousveillance is shown in many different ways.

The Lives of Others (2006) - about Stasi Germany.

Leonardo Flores set up a Facebook group for the class, mostly for exploring online identity in the next module, but you might as well join it right away :)

Where to find more literature about your topic

Here are some places to find more information for your assignments. You can find databases (other than Google Scholar) through the University Library website.

  • Google Scholarfor research articles
  • Idunn for Norwegian journal articles (academic/popular, e.g. Edda, Vinduet, )
  • Retriever for Norwegian newspaper articles

I definitely recommend asking a librarian for help, too!

Homework for Thursday Sept 6

Decide which assignment you will write, and develop an outline (disposisjon) for your paper. Of course you can write as much as you like, but for class, bring an outline of less than one page to discuss with your neighbours. Remember to keep it short enough that your neighbour can read it in a few minutes!

Here are some tips on how to develop an outline. Don’t worry too much about the exact format - what I mean is simply to list the things you plan to include in your paper.