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Beyond culture vs. structure: The networks, habits and resistances of our digital times

TikTok might seem a million kilometres away from the world of social theory. But in this lecture, I use this example as a way to address the question, what is the relationship between social structure and culture? 

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References and Further Reading

Back, Les, ed. 2012. Cultural Sociology: An Introduction. 1st ed. London: Wiley Blackwell.

Bauman, Zygmunt. 2015. Intimations of Postmodernity. London: Routledge.

Beckenbauer, Lukas. 2019. ‘On Platform Aesthetics: TikTok as the next Level of the Gamification of Social Exchange Online’. New Media M.A. Research Blog, Media Studies, University of Amsterdam |. 23 September 2019.

boyd, danah. 2010. ‘Social Network Sites as Networked Publics: Affordances, Dynamics, and Implications’. In A Networked Self: Identity, Community and Culture on Social Network Sites., edited by Papacharissi Z., 39–58. New York: Routledge.

Browne, Simone. 2015. Dark Matters : On the Surveillance of Blackness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Chaney, David. 2012. ‘Starting to Write a History of the Present Day: Culture and Sociology’. In Cultural Sociology: An Introduction, 3–18. London: Wiley Blackwell.

Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong. 2017. Updating to Remain the Same : Habitual New Media. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Cumiskey, K.M., and L. Hjorth, eds. 2013. Mobile Media Practices, Presence and Politics: The Challenge of Being Seamlessly Mobile. London and New York: Routledge.

Greenfield, Adam. 2018. Radical Technologies : The Design of Everyday Life. London; New York: Verso.

Hall, Stuart. 1997. ‘The Problem of Ideology : Marxism without Guarantees’. Journal of Communication Inquiry 10 (2): 28–44.

Hays, Sharon. 1994. ‘Structure and Agency and the Sticky Problem of Culture’. Sociological Theory 12 (1): 57–72.

hooks, bell. 2015. Black Looks : Race and Representation. Boston: South End Press.

Lash, Scott. 1990. The Sociology of Postmodernism. London: Routledge.

Ling, R. 2012. Taken for Grantedness: The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Patterson, Geneviève, and Hannah Donovan. 2020. ‘Leveraging TikTok for Growth | TechCrunch’. TechCrunch. Fenruary 2020.

Perez, Sarah. 2019. ‘It’s Time to Pay Serious Attention to TikTok’. TechCrunch. 30 January 2019.

Pettit, Harry. 2020. ‘Face ID Masks to Let You Unlock IPhone Sparked by Coronavirus | The Mercury’. Mercury. 18 February 2020.

Schiller, Dan. 1999. Digital Capitalism: Networking the Global Market System. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Alana Lentin