The aim of this course is to bring together perspectives from critical theory, media studies, science and technology studies (STS), design studies, gender studies, as well as policy analysis in order to discuss how digital technologies relate to work, work-life balance and how societies change accordingly. From a critical perspective technologies are used to establish value extraction, control and perpetuation of the capitalist system through alienated work and shifting of the work-life balance. From a media studies perspective communication technologies enable social and cultural environments that alter media content production, distribution and consumption patterns. STS perspective takes that all technologies are used and interpreted differently, while sometimes also exhibiting characteristics of social agency. From a design perspective it is a challenge to create technologies that will meet and satisfy the constantly changing needs and desires of users. Gender perspective questions how technologies can perpetuate patriarchal structures and contribute to gender digital divide, while also offering emancipatory possibilities. Furthermore, digital technologies present a challenge for policy makers since they develop at a faster rate than national, regional, and supranational (e.g. EU) legislative systems. We aim to examine how these contexts shape digital technologies and work, and also how digital technologies are embedded and alter the contexts, practices and routines of human work and work-life balance.
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