MAS 963 · The Virtual Society
Professor Judith Donath

Tuesday 2-4 in E15-335
TA: David Chiou
Graduate level · 12 Units
Permission of instructor required

This course is about social life in the on-line world. Its focus is on how the design of the interface influences people's interactions with each other and shapes the cultural mores and structures they develop.

Drawing on work in cognitive science, urban design, anthropology, etc., as well as on research in the sociology of online communities, we will examine the ways social cues are communicated in the real and the virtual world, discuss the limits imposed upon on-line communities by their mediated nature, and explore directions that virtual societies can take that are impossible for physical ones.

Examples of the issues we will study in depth include: