Big Data, Society and Culture


This course will offer Master students:

- A broad and articulated knowledge of the concepts, themes, and fundamental theories in the area of Digital Society and Culture, in particular with regard to the relationship between digital technologies and social configurations, the definition of identity and social and cultural practices.

- A firm knowledge of the most relevant debates triggered by the “digital transformation” in its social and cultural implications, acquiring critical and in-depth understanding of the respective positions and arguments.

- Develop a "digital fluency" in the understanding and use of digital technologies, through a critical analysis of the representations and practices prevalent in digital platforms, also from students’ own involvement with new digital media.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Davide Scarso


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 140

Teaching language



Available soon


Berry, David M, and Anders Fagerjord. 2017. Digital Humanities: Knowledge and Critique in a Digital Age. Polity.

Bollmer, Grant. 2018. Theorizing Digital Cultures. SAGE.

Halpern, Orit. 2015. Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945. Durham: Duke University Press.

Jenkins, Henry, Mizuko Itō, and Danah Boyd. 2015. Participatory Culture in a Networked Era: A Conversation on Youth, Learning, Commerce, and Politics. Polity.

Kelleher, John D., and Brendan Tierney. 2018. Data Science. MIT Press.

Lindgren, Simon. 2017. Digital Media and Society. SAGE.

O’Shea, Lizzie. 2019. Future Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Can Teach Us about Digital Technology. Verso.

Rogers, Richard. 2013. Digital Methods. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Smith, Robert E. 2019. Rage Inside the Machine : The Prejudice of Algorithms, and How to Stop the Internet Making Bigots of Us All. Bloomsbury.

Teaching method

Teaching will be based on diverse methodologies: oral presentation, analysis, discussion of texts and video materials, case studies, autonomous research, also through digital methodologies, and the systematization of relevant scientific sources.

Evaluation method

Assessment, will be based on: 1) presentation and oral discussion of a work related to one of the topics of the program; 2) a written text on the same topic; 3) active participation in classroom discussions.

Subject matter

1.    What’s Big Data? Concepts, debates and materialities

2.    The long history of big data.

3.    Digital Bodies, Quantified-Self and health

4.    Smart House, Smart Cities and IoT

5.    Digital Borders and Mobility

6.    Digital Labour: Platforms, Uberization and Gamification

7.    Digital Economy: from Immaterial Work to Cryptocurrencies

8.    Digital Media: Communication, Advertising, Journalism

9.    Digital Humanities

10.    Digital Commons: Sharing, Participation, Collaboration


Programs where the course is taught: