Department of Informatics

Lund University School of Economics and Management

Theory and Philosophy of Social Media


The course is offered on the PhD programme in Informatics, to PhD students within the Research School Management and IT (MIT) and to external PhD students.

The course will be given on campus at the Department of Informatics in Lund. The course has an hybrid option that means that it can be possible to take some parts of the course from distance in discussion with the course director.

Course background

The course focuses on critical readings of social media. It emphasizes on developing knowledge of social media that is rooted in classical philosophical traditions. This knowledge is aimed at understanding the ‘social’ or sociality in social media, communication and dialogue, subjective and objective reality, truth, power and politics, democracy and participation, and ideology and culture. The aim from the course is to conceptualize and discuss a critical social theory of social media. 

Course content

The course will be structured around main themes in the literature. These include the following:

  • Social media technologies and their role in social life
  • Human sociality in social media
  • Philosophical accounts of the social 
  • Philosophical accounts of digital technology 
  • Structures of power, community, and human sociality. 
  • The public sphere, social behavior, social facts, and social relations.  
  • Critical theory of social media

Course design

The course is designed to include extensive discussions of literature on classic philosophy (Weber, Marx, Durkheim, Tönnies, and others) in relation to the following themes:

  • What is social in social media.
  • Social relations and structures of power in social media
  • Individual and community behavior in social media
  • Critical theory and philosophy of social media; on power, truth, democracy, and capitalism


The assessment is based on seminar discussions (group reading circles) as well as final course paper as follows: 

  • Reading the literature on one of the main course themes and leading a lecture and discussion during reading circles (3.5 credits)
  • Writing and presenting an individual publishable paper on a selected theme based on the work of a classic philosopher (4 credits)



Osama Mansour
Associate professor
Phone: +46 46 222 33 84
Room: EC2-235

Osama Mansour

Additional information

Course syllabus

Course literature 


Doctoral level (Third cycle)
Teaching language: English
Teaching: On campus
Offered: Autumn 2023
Course period: Aug 2023 - Jan 2024
Study pace: 25%
The course is free of charge.

Admission & Selection

An email will sent out to all accepted students within two weeks after the application deadline.

If the number of applicants exceeds available places, applicants are prioritised as follows:

  1. PhD students from the Department of Informatics
  2. PhD students from the research school Managment and IT (MIT)
  3. PhD students from other departments at LUSEM
  4. External PhD students (outside MIT and LUSEM)

The applicant's PhD level (ie how far into the PhD process) and relevance of research area can also be taken into account in the selection.