Qualification assignments spring 2016
You have four qualifying assignments (pre-requisites) for your term paper (these assignments make you eligible to complete the term paper): 1. Two position papers 2. One presentation. 3. Three questions for each of our guest lecturers (Prof. Elisabeth Staksrud and Prof. Sonia Livingstone)
Topics and instructions for the position papers
Two position papers will be assigned during the course, one will be due in the second week and the other one will be due in the third week of the class. These should be between 400 and 500 words long. While these assignments will not be graded, they are prerequisites for doing your term paper. I will provide specific instructions on the format of the paper in our first lecture and we will be discussing it in the first seminar. For each assignment, you will be able to choose from several topics and provide your take on that topic based on the assigned readings. Good assignments have a clear position statement (thesis) which is then discussed (challenged or defended, or both) based on the assigned readings and any other relevant evidence that you might have on your own –media reports, research reports, other literature or insights. These papers are designed to help you think through the readings, apply them critically and thus maximize your intellectual benefit from this course. They are also a form of mini-term papers, which therefore allow you to practice writing a good term paper, just on a smaller scale. Please note that all readings assigned for a lecture or a seminar are envisaged to be read ahead of the respective lecture or seminar so that we can have an active discussion and a lively debate.
For the first assignment, please discuss one of the following topics:
- To what extent are digital technologies changing childhood experiences? Is “a digital child” radically different from “analog child” and if so, in what ways and why/why not?
- Thinking about risks and harms, are minors exposed to a greater variety and/or more risks and harm because of the internet? Are the risks greater or not and in what ways? What is the relationship between online risks and opportunities?
- Thinking about different forms of identity, discuss the ways in which digital media may facilitate or inhibit youth self-expression.
For the second assignment, please discuss one of the following topics:
- What are some of the challenges associated with designing policies and laws aimed to protect and empower youth? Where do you stand regarding the debate on freedom of expression vs. child protection and why? Discuss your position.
- Discuss the concept of moral panic and apply it to a recent public discussion where child protection was the issue. Do you find the moral panic framework useful or not and if so, why/why not?
The first qualification assignment is due on Monday, February 1st and the second is due on Monday, February 8th.