Programs by Campus


Social Informatics
School of Library and Information Science

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Ph.D. Minor in Social Informatics

Social Informatics (SI) refers to the interdisciplinary study of the design, uses, and consequences of information and communi­cations technologies (ICT) that takes into account their interac­tion with institutional and cultural contexts. Social Informat­ics research examines the roles of technologies in social and organizational change and the social shaping of ICT. SI research and SI courses are organized within diverse fields, including information systems, telecommunications, journalism, informa­tion science, and political science. One key goal of the field is to shape ICTs and policies relevant to them in order to enhance human communication and lead to more acceptable techno­logical developments at organizational and social levels.

Course Requirement for the Ph.D. Minor in Social Informatics (12 credit hours)

This minor consists of four courses (12 credits), selected from an approved list of courses as described below. Please note that a student minoring in SI cannot include classes from his or her home department in the minor. Students who complete the Ph.D. minor in SI at Indiana University must demonstrate proficiency in a set of courses that examines the design, uses, consequences and/or policies of ICT use in social, cultural, or institutional contexts. The SI Ph.D. minor emphasizes theoreti­cal and methodological issues, as well as substantive issues.

The student must submit a written proposal to the Steering Committee describing a detailed course of study. The proposal will explain the student’s focus of study, its relationship to SI, the relationship of proposed SI courses to the overall program of study, and the likely dissertation topic or area. It will also include the name of the student’s SI Ph.D. minor advisor. While the SI Ph.D. minor is likely to be completed before a student develops a detailed dissertation proposal, it is expected that the dissertation will address issues related to social informatics. If a student is interested in a course that is not on the approved course list, he or she can petition the director and Steering Committee to have the course included as part of the minor; the procedure is described below.

The complete proposal must be approved by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee must also attest that the approved course of study has been completed successfully. Stu­dents seeking the Ph.D. minor in SI must obtain the approval of their Ph.D. Advisory Committees. The range of courses listed on the RKCSI courses at­es is designed to enable students to construct a program for the Ph.D. minor in SI that is relevant to their primary research interests. This program of courses should include some courses that have strong theoretical and/or methodological content, as well as substantive issues. Students who propose taking “topics courses” (such as SLIS S604, S601/602, INFO I590, R601) as electives to help satisfy these requirements must satisfy the Steering Committee that the particular course they wish to take is relevant to the subject matter of SI. Further courses will be added to the list on an ongoing basis at the discretion of the Steering Committee.

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