84705 - Information Society

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Laura Sartori
  • Credits: 8
  • SSD: SPS/07
  • Language: English

Learning outcomes

Changes in social relations, political participation and social innovation are key features in understanding contemporary societies. The course focuses on these topics with specific reference to the most recent and salient events. At the end of the course the student a) has acquired the tools for reading and interpreting the ‘Information society’ , its own dynamics and current transformations; b) is capable of evaluating the social, political and economic implications of Information and Communication technologies.

Course contents

1st week: Critical contextualization of the 'Information Society'

2nd week: Digital divides and digital inequalities

3rd week: Smart cities and social inequalities

4th week: Algorithms, surveillance capitalism and the future of work

5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th weeks:

Artificial intelligence and its social (bias, fairness, inclusion, discrimination), economic and political (regulation, labour market, democracy) implications

10th week: Public presentation of individual and group works

This course foresees a very active involvement on the participants.

There are some mandatory and additional non-mandatory readings for each week that set the base for in-class debate and discussion.

On VIRTUALE you'll find a constantly updated syllabus with assignments and readings week by week. (Note: Some changes will likely be made as we go along)

All articles are available as electronic resource in the Unibo online repository (sba.unibo.it) you could also access from home.

No reading required only for the first week.


See VIRTUALE  for details

Teaching methods

There will be one weekly meeting (4 hours) consisting in three main activities (traditional teaching, in-class activity and active discussion of mandatory articles/book chapters).


Expectations: My expectation is that you will do most of the course readings when assigned, come to class, turn in required assignments, and participate in the discussions.


Assessment methods

The final decision about taking this course is due on the 2nd week, September 30th. 

This is a crucial decision for the organization of the workflow through invidiual presentations and assignments. So, please, come to class, browse the content but take your final decision by September 30th.

In addition, depending upon the number of students, there is the chance to participate to an empirical research consisting of organizing a focus group and learn how to analyse qualitative data. This option will be evaluated once the number of attendees is defined. The topic of the research is 'Gender bias and AI'.

For attendees

Attendees can miss only 2 classes.

Overall assessment:

2 in-class presentations: 20%

Active participation: 20%

1 mid-term report (or focus group): 20%

Final paper: 40%.


E-mail list: You are responsible for checking your e-mail daily to make sure you do not miss announcements.

For non attendees:

A paper of 6000words and a take-home exam are expected upon clearing the topic choice with the professor.



Office hours

See the website of Laura Sartori


Gender equality Reduced inequalities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.