Society and Technology

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
SOCI 2290
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course examines technology through a sociological lens. It adopts a broad definition of technology as practices and things that are used to augment or transform human capacity or experience. As such, the course will consider everything from bikes, VHS tapes, factory machinery, smart phones, algorithms and beyond. Students will examine the social and cultural processes that lead to the development, reception, and use of technologies. Technologies will be situated within broader patterns of social inequity, including but not limited to, race, gender, and class. The focus of the course will be technology in the Canadian context; where possible, local examples will be fore-grounded. The course will also address and discuss the impact of globalizing forces on technology, and technology as a globalizing force. It will feature a range of in-depth discussions regarding technology including: technology as part of everyday life and labour; the transition to the digital age; the rise of algorithms and data-veillance and; relationships and social interactions in online spaces. The course concludes with a consideration of the ways community and human social responsibility are being reconfigured in the digital age.

Course Content

1. Course introduction

2. Society and technology: From sticks and stones to the digital age

3. The dividing line: Technology and systemic patterns of inequity

4. Technology and social transformation: Local to global perspectives

5. Technology and work

6. Technology and the body

7. Technology and the city

8. Enter the internet and the digital age

9. Sex, love, and intimacy online

10. From social media to video games: Exploring the digital self

11. Data-veillance and an algorithm for everything

12. Globalization and the digital divide

13. Finding community in the digital age

Learning Activities

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include facilitation of student-led projects, student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills.

When the course is offered in a hybrid format, students will complete a minimum of 50% of the course content online in a self-directed manner. 

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy and will include both formative and summative components. Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on some or all of the following:

  • Participating in class discussion
  • Essays
  • Oral presentations (individual and/or group)
  • Written exams

A sample grade breakdown for this course might be as follows:

Participation - 10%

Midterm Exam - 15%

Research Paper - 30%

Seminar Presentation - 20%

Critical Media Analysis - 10%

Final Exam - 15%

TOTAL: 100%

Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:


  1. Explain foundational and contemporary issues in the sociological study of technology;
  2. Identify social and cultural processes that shape the development, reception, and use of a range of technologies;
  3. Apply key sociological theories, such as, neoliberalism and subjectivity, innovation and social transformation, capitalism and labour, and globalization, in order to examine technology and its development and use in societies;
  4. Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze key areas of sociological scholarship as they relate to technology and society, such as, digital sociologies, neoliberalism, and community and social connection;
  5. Identify and critically analyze systemic patterns of inequity as they relate to and intersect with technology and the structure of contemporary life and social processes.


Textbook Materials

Texts will be updated periodically. Typical examples are:

Quan-Haase, A. (2020). Technology and Society: Social Network, Power, and Inequality. Toronto: Oxford University Press. 

Daniels, J., Gregory, K., McMillan Cottom, T. (eds.). (2016). Digital Sociologies. Policy Press.




SOCI 1125 or SOCI 1145 or SOCI 1155 or OLD SOCI 135


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for SOCI 2290
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU SOCI 2XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU SA 1XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU SOCI 2XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU SOCI 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO SOCI 226 (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV SOCI 260 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV MACS 210 (3) or UFV SOC 2XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC SOCI 2XX (1.5)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023