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Fall '00 Course Guide

Courses in Communication Studies (Division 352)

Fall Term, 2000 (September 6 December 22)

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Comm. 101. The Mass Media.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Catherine Squires (squiresc@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (SS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is designed to provide an introductory overview of contemporary mass media systems and an examination of the various factors historical, economic, political, and cultural that have shaped their development. The course begins with a description of present print and electronic media and examines their evolution. Attention is given throughout to the legal and ethical implications of mass communication systems and to comparisons between American media systems and those elsewhere in the world. Finally, it considers the probable future course of the media and examines possible alternatives.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 102. Media Processes and Effects.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Travis Dixon (tldixon@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (SS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course introduces students to the contemporary research on mass communication processes and effects. Basic processes involved in the production, dissemination, reception, and impact of media messages are examined. The course investigates a variety of effects on individuals' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as influences on the functioning of larger social systems. It proceeds in general from investigations of individual-level to societal-level impact. Critical reading and evaluation of research on media processes and effects, and of its application to social policy debates, is encouraged and developed.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 111. Workshop on Managing the Information Environment.

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (Excl).

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Hands-on workshop intended to develop student mastery of the rapidly developing and expanding electronic information environment. Skills developed include the use of electronic communication systems, database searching, word processing, data management, and various research uses of public computer networks and the information superhighway. The course introduces students to a range of campus computing resources, including local area networks and available software, and remote access to the Internet and the World Wide Web. Problem-solving assignments are designed to teach strategies used in finding information and evaluating its validity and utility.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 211. Evaluating Information.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Michael Traugott (mtrau@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 111. (4). (SS). (QR/1).

Full QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course teaches the fundamental thinking skills necessary for critical evaluation of research-based arguments, especially those based on quantitative information. Such skills are required for one to be a competent mass communicator of information, a critical consumer of information relayed by the mass media, or an intelligent scholar of media processes and effects.

The course introduces generic logical and statistical concepts through analysis and discussion of specific cases drawn from research reported in the mass media (e.g., health and business news, public opinion polls), research on the media, (e.g., the impact of media violence), and research for the media (e.g., audience research). Students' logical and quantitative reasoning skills are improved through a variety of "hands-on" exercises and projects (many involving computerized spreadsheet programs). The course is introductory in nature, and no prior statistical expertise is required.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 321. Undergraduate Internship.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Junior standing, concentration in communication studies, and permission of instructor. Internship credit is not retroactive and must be prearranged. No more than six credits combined of Comm. Studies 321 and 322 may be elected. (1-3). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. May not be used to satisfy communication studies electives in a communication studies concentration plan. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Communication Studies concentrators who have reached junior standing may receive some amount of experiential course credit for an internship. Student assessment will be based on the academic merit of the work and evaluation of the final paper.

Cost: 1 Waitlist Code: 5, P/I

Comm. 351. Structure and Function of Media Systems.

Section 002 ONLY may be elected to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course examines research and scholarship focused on existing media institutions, their genesis and current lines of development, institutional arrangements, organization and operation, economic structure, and characteristic communications "output." Course topics may include: the history of media systems; media and government, including legal, regulatory, and free-expression issues; media economics; international media systems; technologies; media organizational routines; and the values and behavior of media professionals. The course investigates the ways in which institutional, economic, and organizational arrangements affect professional behavior and media content, with attention to media system changes over time and in comparative contexts.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 361. Processes of Mediated Communication.

Section 002 ONLY may be elected to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course examines general phenomena involved with the creation, dissemination, and reception of mediated information. Course topics may include: information processing, including message encoding and decoding; media priming and framing of evaluations and decisions; influences of message structure and communication modalities on processing; media use and reception, including interpretive processes; information flow and control, focusing on influences of communication networks, message diffusion, and information gatekeeping; and communicative processes of learning, persuasion, and social influence. The emphasis is on the development and testing of general theories explaining how mediated communication works, even though research examined will center on particular cases (e.g., studies of priming in political communication).

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 371. Media, Culture, and Society.

Section 002 ONLY may be elected to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

Instructor(s): Derek Vaillant (dvail@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course explores the rise of the mass media and social and cultural issues surrounding the history of the mass media in the U.S. Course topics studied may include: communication and social identity, including race, ethnicity, and gender; media's role in defining and representing culture; issues of pluralism and post-colonialism, media audiences as interpretive and "imagined" communities; media and social movements; and the role of media in altering and maintaining political and social order. Research on mass communication is examined in connection with broader questions about the relations between cultural systems and social formations, and about the dynamics of social and cultural change and contestation.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 381. Media Impact on Knowledge, Values, and Behavior.

Section 002 ONLY may be elected to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

Instructor(s): Kristen Harrison (krishar@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course critically evaluates research and scholarship on the impact of mass communication, especially television, in a variety of substantive domains. Media impact is treated both in theoretical and applied terms. The research examined spans levels of analysis, including effects on individuals as well as society at large. Topics to be covered include media impact on: social values; educational development; political behavior; violence and aggressive behavior; consumer behavior; health, emotion, and mood; and children. Research on the use of mass communication in public information campaigns is also reviewed, as is the role of media research in providing guidance for social policy makers and media professionals.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 439. Seminar in Journalistic Performance.

Section 001 Supreme Court News Coverage. (3 Credits).

Instructor(s): Anthony Collings (collings@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1-4). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of eight credits.

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This seminar evaluates media coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court, in the context of long-range factors affecting the ability of news media to function in a democracy. This seminar will examine the scope and content of print, broadcast, and new-media news reporting on major cases before the court. How accurately, fairly, and adequately do news organizations cover the cases as they proceed through the legal system? Does the media help the American public gain a sufficiently thorough understanding of the complex legal issues and social impact of each case? In addition to gaining a broad overview of media coverage of current and recent cases, each student will select one case from the current or past court term and study media coverage of it in detail.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 439. Seminar in Journalistic Performance.

Section 002 Topic? (3 Credits).

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1-4). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of eight credits.

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

No Description Provided


Comm. 441. Independent Reading.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of department. (3-4). (Excl). No more than four credits may be included in a Communication concentration. (INDEPENDENT). Comm. 441 and 442 may be repeated for a combined total of eight credits.

Credits: (3-4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Intended for individualized instruction in subject areas not covered by scheduled courses. Must be arranged with a faculty member.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5: Permission of instructor

Comm. 442. Independent Research.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of department. (3-4). (Excl). No more than four credits may be included in a Communication concentration. (INDEPENDENT). Comm. Studies 441 and 442 may be repeated for a combined total of eight credits.

Credits: (3-4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Intended for original, individualized student research under the direction of a faculty supervisor. Must be arranged with the faculty member.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, P/I

Comm. 458. Special Topics in Media Systems.

Section 001 Ethics Issues in Journalism

Instructor(s): Anthony Collings (collings@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course focuses on problems in journalistic ethics at a time of growing concern over standards of news coverage, as exemplified most recently in the Lewinsky case. The course provides an historic overview of traditional journalistic ethics. Coupled with that is a detailed study of changing values in news coverage as media decision makers adapt to social, economic and technological changes. The course highlights such problems as sensationalism, infotainment, anonymous sources, hidden cameras, punditry, the lowering of the wall of separation between the business and editorial sides of news organizations, invasions of privacy, and the personal behavior of journalists. The course studies journalists' responsibilities to their profession and to the public, and examines proposed solutions to the problems of ethics violations.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 459. Seminar in Media Systems.

Section 001 Topic?

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

No Description Provided


Comm. 459. Seminar in Media Systems.

Section 002 Foreign News Coverage

Instructor(s): Anthony Collings (collings@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course investigates coverage of foreign news as a reflection of the structure and function of media systems. What factors influence media decisions on covering events overseas? What criteria do the media use for deciding which events to report and at what length, and how valid are these criteria? What value systems do they reflect? How successfully do the media make foreign news relevant to American readers, listeners, and viewers? What special problems do foreign correspondents face?

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 471. Gender Issues in the Media.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Susan Douglas (sdoug@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course examines a variety of important connections between gender and mass communication, including the role of the media in shaping notions of gender in society. The course explores the representation of women in the mass media, and critically analyzes the historical roles of women as media images, producers, and audiences.

Feminist theories and their applications to the study of media are examined in detail. The male and female "image" in popular media is studied in its social and historical context, along with broader explorations of the social construction of masculinity and femininity and their relationships to class, race, and status in society.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 479. Seminar in Media and Culture.

Section 001 Historicity and Theory

Instructor(s): Derek Vaillant (dvail@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This seminar examines the dynamic interplay of media and culture drawing extensively on historical methodology and allied social and cultural theory as analytic tools. We will explore theories of culture, power, and history as a basis for examining the rise and social and cultural consequences of the modern media from the late 19th century to the present. The course will include specific historical and ethnographic case studies of media, culture, and society in the United States and elsewhere with an emphasis on race, ethnicity, and gender. We will consider, for example, the implications of social and cultural diasporas, and the role of media in shaping transnational consumption communities, multiple publics, and imagined communities. Prerequisites: Comm. 371 is strongly recommended or an equivalent background in American culture and history.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 481. Media and Violence.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Rowell Huesmann (huesmann@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (4). (Excl).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course examines the theoretical and empirical connections between violence in society and portrayals of violence in the mass media. The course explores the reasons for the prevalence of violent themes in television, film, and other popular media, and investigates the psychological and social mechanisms through which media portrayals might influence attitudes and behavior. Because one cannot fully understand the relation between violence and violence in society without first understanding the causes of aggressive and violent behavior, we will begin by examining the nature of aggressive and violent behavior and how it develops, and we will discuss the role of the media as socializing agents in general. Then we will delve into the research and theory on the link between media violence and aggression. Finally, we will discuss societal and psychological approaches to controlling violence and the effects of media violence as well as issues of media policy.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 489. Seminar in Media Effects.

Section 001 Topic?

Instructor(s): Richard Allen (yebo@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

No Description Provided


Comm. 491. Senior Honors Seminar, I.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Travis Dixon (tldixon@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 311 and admission to Honors. (3). (Excl). No more than 3 credits of Comm. Studies 491-492 may be included in a Communication concentration plan.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This is the first in a two-part Honors seminar sequence of seminars that Honors concentrators in Communication Studies must take during their senior year while writing a senior thesis. During this first seminar, offered only in the Fall, students develop thesis topics, decide on a choice of methods, and write a prospectus. To be eligible for enrollment students must be accepted as Honors concentrators during the second term of their junior year. Admission as an Honors concentrator requires a cumulative GPA of 3.3, and at least a 3.5 in departmental course work, and a passing grade of B or higher in Communication Studies 311. Qualified applicants should meet with the Honors advisor during the second term of their junior year to be evaluated for admission.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

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