This course provides an introduction to the ways that information and information processes shape and are shaped by society. In particular, it examines the social, institutional, political, legal, and economic roles of information and knowledge in public life, including how forms of new media, new distribution channels and new delivery systems are affecting traditional means of creating and disseminating information. We also discuss changes that stem from developments in the information environment at the individual, organizational and societal level.
Focal issues include: the politics, ethics, and values of information; information as an economic phenomenon; the institutional structure of knowledge and cultural production; and the role of information professionals in all of these activities.
The intent is to provide opportunity for students to: take a thematic approach to understanding the nature and role of information in both private and public spheres; create a contextual framework within which to analyze the major social issues and developments associated with information creation, dissemination and use; and consider the various perspectives that characterize current policy discussions on those issues as well as alternative interpretations to conventional wisdom.
Exclusion: INF/FIS 1210