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Course Details

Spring 2016-2017
SOC 558   P/D/F Only

Being Human in the 21st Century: How Social and Technological Tools are Reshaping Humanity

Brett M. Frischmann

This seminar introduces students to the critical interdisciplinary study of techno-social engineering of humans. It takes seriously the idea that many technologies currently deployed and being developed deserve more careful attention because they have the potential to (re)construct humans and society on an unprecedented scale and scope. While the course isn't guided by the gloomy determinist presumption that dystopia is inevitable, we nevertheless consider critical arguments that allege humans are being engineered to behave like simple machines.

Sample reading list:
Robert Nozick, The Experience Machine
Garrett Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons
Alan Turing, Computing Machinery and Intelligence
Paul Bloom, The Baby in the Well
See instructor for complete list

Papers - 20%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Term Paper(s) - 45%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%
Other (See Instructor) - 10%

Other Requirements:
Open to Graduate Students Only.

Other information:
Non-Sociology graduate students wishing to receive a grade for this course must submit a completed Graduate Student Enrollment Change Form located at the following URL:

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43543 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm Th   Sherrerd Hall   306   Enrolled:3 Limit:15