In this class, we will read scientific papers on the topic of social distinction and digital consumption in HCI. While these terms are highly popular within sociological discourse, they are rather unknown in HCI, even though they provide interesting approaches to seeing the world through a different lens. Why do we share pictures of our latest vacation on Instagram? Why is my aunt just using WhatsApp Story? And why do I feel too old to use TikTok? After reading papers and book chapters from multiple disciplines, we may answer these questions at the end of the seminar.

For each session, at least one person is responsible to present the reading material (poster, presentation, etc.), which we will discuss from different viewpoints. In the end, you are asked to hand in a short report which should answer one of the above or similar questions in the HCI context.

For this seminar, you should be open to reading sociological classics (Bourdieu, Becker, etc.) but also contemporary literature from HCI and media studies. You are asked to think critically and in an analytic way to make sense of sometimes complex phenomena.

We are meeting in US D-109 each Thursday at 2 p.m.