Length requirements: 1500-2000 words, including the title and bibliography/works cited pages. Formatting requirements: Double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman/Arial/Cambria. APA citation style, with a bibliography or works cited page Instructions: Throughout this course, we have considered the many different, and above all, contradictory ways in which digital media, technologies, and networks have transformed our social and cultural world. In particular, we’ve considered how digital media can either 1) reproduce and reinforce already established economic, political, and cultural relations, which are for the most part dominated by a few powerful social groups, interests, and organizations, by extending traditional forms of power, control, and surveillance or creating new ones; or 2) subvert and challenge hegemonic power structures and systems, by producing radically new and distinctive forms of identity, community, knowledge, and cultural production, which are potentially more egalitarian and democratic than their offline counterparts. From social networking sites to MMORPGs to digitally reproducible media and fire-sharing – in principle, all of the different kinds and sites of digital culture examined in this course can end up both 1) supporting, or even further deepening, already existing social relations, inequalities, and forms of power in our society; or 2) undermining them and making possible new configurations of social and cultural exchange. The objective of this paper, then, is for you to argue in favour of one of these two perspectives, 1) or 2), in relation to one of the following themes from the course, by focusing on one or a few specific contemporary examples (a sample question has been provided but you are free to generate your own): c. surveillance and privacy. Have digital media and the Internet led to the death of privacy for individuals, and especially children and youth? Or have they made it possible for those same individuals to challenge, resist, and slip by, as well as expose and call attention to, systems of surveillance? The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the student’s ability to specify a topic that relates to the course themes and independently research and write on that topic; closely read and explicate a limited number of academic texts that are germane to that topic; and articulate and expound an informed, well-reasoned critical opinion in regards to that topic. As such, the short paper will be evaluated according to the following three criteria: 1. persuasiveness and rigour in arguing for a particular position or perspective in relation to the chosen theme from the course, as illustrated through references to contemporary examples, issues, and debates about digital culture related to that theme; 2. relevance, use, and explication of academic sources, that is, how judiciously they choose and faithfully they reconstruct the scholarly literature on the chosen theme from the course, demonstrating that they have undertaken a studied engagement of the course material and/or external scholarship through quotes, paraphrases, etc.; 3. quality of writing, as reflected both in the attention to proofreading, editing, citations, etc., to limit typographical, grammatical, and other errors, and in the observance of the assignment’s formal and technical requirements, e.g., citation style, spacing and margins, etc.