Breaching Experiment Essay

We also get to learn how she integrated tumblr into her lesson plans.

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Garfinkel required his hapless students to break all sorts of norms and write about their experiences, and I found that fifty years after it was written, my students reacted the same way Garfinkel’s did when contemplating breaching social norms—with horror, embarrassment, and trepidation.

Building on Sandvig’s assignment, I gave the students a list of social norm experiments.

I knew I was going to use a version of Christian Sandvig’s social media breaching experiments, which identified key norms on individual social media sites and asked students to break them.

For background, I assigned Garfinkel’s “Studies of the Routine Grounds of Everyday Activities,” a great piece for undergrads.

She is turning her dissertation, Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity & Self-Branding in Web 2.0, into a book.

I started my first semester as an assistant professor at Fordham with free range to take over a recently-added undergraduate class called “Social Media.” I’ve seen social media classes taught at the undergraduate level that focus entirely on learning to use the sites Not only does this approach not age well, it doesn’t give students skills to analyze social media critically, which is my primary ethos of teaching media studies.

Not only did Alice construct an interdisciplinary reading list to prepare her students to critically analyze social media, she also aimed to give her students practical social media skills for entry-level jobs and internships. Only a professor who has a deep understanding of the contemporary internet!

While we weren’t lucky enough to be Alice’s student, she gives us an abbreviated tour of her class below.

The students who picked Facebook Picture Creeper reported being blocked, getting texts and phone calls asking them to stop, being chided by friends, and unfriended on Facebook.

About half of the Oversharers reported similar results, with the other half saying they had become much closer to their subject as a result.


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