Gordon Gow, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Sociology Dept
Director, Faculty of Arts - Media Tech Studies (MTS)

Pronouns: He, him, his


Professor, Faculty of Arts - Sociology Dept
4-26 Tory (H.M.) Building
11211 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H4

Director, Faculty of Arts - Media Tech Studies (MTS)
(780) 492-3021
412E Arts Building (Main & Conv Hall)
113 St and 91 Ave
Edmonton AB
T6G 2E6



Area of Study / Keywords

Communication studies internet studies social media political economy of communication community and international development


I am a professor of media and communications currently serving as Interim Director of the Media & Technology Studies unit at the University of Alberta. I also teach in the Master of Arts in Communications and Technology (MACT program). Prior to joining the University of Alberta in 2006, I was a Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics where I was Director of the Graduate Programme in Media and Communications Regulation and Policy.


My research and teaching interests revolve around the social impact of digital media and technology. I have been leading collaborative research projects in digital leadership and literacy through a technology stewardship initiative with Canadian and international partners. My expertise extends to a range of areas including social media, ICT for development (ICT4D); community informatics; political economy of communication; communication policy and regulation; science and technology studies, and the history of electronic media.

In addition, I have a longstanding interest in the field of media ecology, with a focus on the work of Marshall McLuhan, Harold Innis, and others associated with the Toronto School of Communication. I also maintain a collection of books, recordings, and other hard-to-find published material by and about Marshall McLuhan, who was born in Edmonton.


I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on the social impact of digital communications, looking at a variety of topics including the social construction of technology, contemporary issues in social media, online communities, digital leadership and transformation, community informatics and ICT for Development.

Graduate students with interests in these areas of research are invited to consider applying to the MA in Communications and Technology (MACT) program. Qualified students interested in pursuing doctoral studies with me will need to consider applying through Individual Interdisciplinary Studies or to contact the graduate advisor in the Department of Sociology.


I am pleased to be working with the Arts Resource Centre at the University of Alberta on a new initiative using Mastodon to establish a decentralized social media infrastructure for supporting research on community-based alternatives to big tech. Please get in touch if you are interested in knowing more about it.


COMM 503 - Social Impact of Digital Communications

This course explores the social impact of digital communications, with a specific focus on new and emerging social media and networks. Course themes cover a broad range of topics on the history and development of digital communications including social networks, virtual communities, and participatory culture. This course also touches on legal, ethical, and practical dimensions of digital communications as they relate to a range of personal and professional contexts. Restricted to MACT students, normally in the first year. Offered during the Spring Institute. Students may not receive credit for both EXT 503 and COMM 503.

Browse more courses taught by Gordon Gow