This course explores current events and links them to theoretical perspectives from a number of different disciplines: public policy, LIS, critical theory, creative arts, political science, education, etc. Each week we explore information issues that have made the news that week (from announcements of new products, to court cases, to take-overs and mergers, to public policy debates such as those around intellectual property and privacy). Students learn about the latest topics and trends, as well as learning how to deconstruct the rhetoric and understand what is going on under the surface. Each student participates in a focus group representing a particular discipline/perspective, and that focus group is responsible for summarizing background readings from that perspective for the rest of the class. (Focus groups meet 90 minutes/week for about 3/4 of the quarter. And because of the 2 Monday holidays, we will schedule one replacement class in January, and the last class will be during finals week, March 19.) This course has been taught in a variety of venues since 1993 (see http://is.gseis.ucla.edu/impact). A look at the Fall 1999 UCLA class will give a flavor of the ucpoming class.
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