Gordon Gow, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Sociology Dept
Director, Faculty of Arts - Master of Arts in Communications and Technology (MACT)


Professor, Faculty of Arts - Sociology Dept
(780) 492-2214
4-26 Tory (H.M.) Building
11211 Saskatchewan Drive NW
T6G 2H4

Director, Faculty of Arts - Master of Arts in Communications and Technology (MACT)


Area of Study / Keywords

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


I am a Professor of Communication and Academic Director of the Master of Arts in Communications and Technology (MACT program) in the Media Technology Studies unit at the University of Alberta. 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 communication for development; community informatics; political economy of communication; communication policy and regulation; science and technology studies.

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 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.

I am also an Adjunct Professor in the Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta, where I teach a course on social innovation.

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.

Spring Term 2022

COMM 505 - Contemporary Issues in Communications and Technology

Current and emerging issues in communications and technology will be explored with an emphasis on providing professionals with an advanced understanding of current developments in the field informed by historical and critical theoretical perspectives. Restricted to MACT students. Students may not receive credit for both EXT 505 and COMM 505. Prerequisites: COMM 502 and COMM 503 or consent of the Department.

Winter Term 2023

COMM 597 - Topics in Communications and Technology

An elective course on selected topics in communications and technology.

Spring Term 2022

SOC 302 - Topics in Sociology

Prerequisite: SOC 100 or consent of the instructor. Note: Consult the Department for any additional prerequisites. Course may be taken more than once if topic(s) vary.

Fall Term 2022

Browse more courses taught by Gordon Gow


Alternative Social Media for Outreach and Engagement

Author(s): Gordon A. Gow
Publication Date: 2020
External Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1b97Lb1fDYnOwDZBZ7hI1yROjWb3WcYKp/view?usp=sharing

Fostering effective use of ICT in agricultural extension: participant responses to an inaugural technology stewardship training program in Trinidad

Author(s): Gordon A. Gow, A. Chowdhury, J. Ramjattan, W. Ganpat
Publication Date: 2020
Publication: The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension
External Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c1U2BnTKNIU77aiNTeuGa6szPIjvL8_D/view?usp=sharing

Introducing a Technology Stewardship Model to Encourage ICT Adoption in Agricultural Communities of Practice

Author(s): Gordon A. Gow
Publication Date: 2018
External Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/17QScmLsAXp1MkvNivkxOskMxvoGg8Nld/view?usp=sharing

Technology Stewardship Training at the University of the West Indies

Author(s): Gordon A. Gow
Publication Date: 2018
External Link: https://vimeo.com/272220978

Technology stewardship training with the University of Peradeniya [video]

Author(s): Gordon A. Gow
Publication Date: 2016
External Link: https://vimeo.com/203134225

Project Backpage Using text messaging to initiate outreach support for victims of human trafficking

Author(s): Gordon A. Gow, T. Barlott, K. Quinn, J. Linder, A. Soler, G. Edwards, S. Hossain
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Journal of Human Trafficking
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 259-274
External Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwjZ8EhyDFTNSWRDLUpzSllQbWs

Stewarding technology for inclusive innovation (video)

Author(s): Gordon Gow
External Link: https://youtu.be/N2Yefqf9wDw