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Fall Academic Term 2001 Course Guide

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Courses in Communication Studies

This page was created at 2:13 PM on Sat, Mar 17, 2001.

Fall Academic Term, 2001 (September 5 December 21)

Open courses in Communication Studies
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Wolverine Access Subject listing for COMM

Fall Term '01 Time Schedule for Communication Studies.

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COMM 101. The Mass Media.

Section 001.

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

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

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~squiresc/newone.html

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.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

COMM 102. Media Processes and Effects.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Travis L 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.

Text: Harris, R.J. (1999). A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication Third Edition. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah: NJ. Available from the Michigan Union Bookstore, Michigan Book and Supply, and Ulrich's Bookstore. Also on reserve on the second floor of the Shapiro Undergraduate Library.

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COMM 111. Workshop on Managing the Information Environment.

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

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: http://www.umich.edu/~cs111/

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.

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COMM 211. Evaluating Information.

Section 001.

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

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

Full QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.umich.edu/~cs211/

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.

READINGS: The Course Calendar provided in this syllabus lists readings to be completed in preparation for each meeting of lectures and workshops. Required readings should be done in the order listed whenever possible. Two textbooks have been ordered for the course:

  • Katzer, J, Cook, K. H., & Crouch, W. (1997). Evaluating Information: A Guide for Users of Social Science Research, 4th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Lavrakas, P. and M. W. Traugott. (1999). The Voter's Guide to Election Polls, 2nd edition. Chatham NJ: Chatham House.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 321. Undergraduate Internship.

    Section 001.

    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.

    No Description Provided

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    COMM 351. Structure and Function of Media Systems.

    Section 001.

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

    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.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 361. Processes of Mediated Communication.

    Section 001.

    Instructor(s): Nojin Kwak (kwak@umich.edu)

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

    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).

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 371. Media, Culture, and Society.

    Section 001.

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

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

    Credits: (4).

    Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dvail/371.html

    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.

    Required Texts: (available for purchase at Shaman Drum. The texts are also available on reserve):

  • Douglas, Susan, Where the Girls Are
  • Frank, Thomas., The Conquest of Cool
  • Kasson, John F., Amusing the Million
  • Roeder, George., The Censored War
  • Rosen, Jeffrey, The Unwanted Gaze

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

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

    Section 001.

    Instructor(s): Kristen S Harrison

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

    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.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 439. Seminar in Journalistic Performance.

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

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

    Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

    Credits: (3).

    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.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 439. Seminar in Journalistic Performance.

    Section 002 Investigative Journalism Supreme Court News Coverage. (3 Credits).

    Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

    Credits: (3).

    Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

    This course 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? Do 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.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

    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.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    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.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 453. The Media in U.S. History.

    Section 001.

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

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

    Credits: (3).

    Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dvail/453.html

    This course treats the social and cultural history of selected media forms and technologies in the United States from Colonial times to the present. It analyzes the impact of selected communications media (newspapers, letters, novels, film, radio, and television) on American society. The course examines communication theories of the "public sphere," the masses, and identity formation (ethnicity, gender, and race), and examines how the media have shaped and redefined the relationship of individuals with the State, with mass consumer society, and with one another. While there are no specific prerequisites, a general grounding in United States history is recommended.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 458. Special Topics in Media Systems.

    Section 001 Ethics Issues In Journalism

    Instructor(s): Anthony C 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.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 459. Seminar in Media Systems.

    Section 001 Foreign News Coverage.

    Instructor(s): Anthony C 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?

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 459. Seminar in Media Systems.

    Section 002 Foreign News Coverage

    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?

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

    COMM 463. Media Use and Reception.

    Section 001.

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

    Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

    Credits: (3).

    Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

    Presents theoretical models for conceptualizing audiences, mass media use, and reception of media messages. Topics covered include techniques for measuring audiences for print and broadcast media, measurement of media exposure and use, and analysis strategies compatible with various models and measurement perspectives.

    This course also examines the psychological and social character of audience experience, through a critical analysis of research on the uses and gratifications of mass media, reception theory, and studies of audiences as interpretive communities.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 471. Gender Issues in the Media.

    Section 001.

    Instructor(s): Susan J 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.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 478. Special Topics in Media and Culture.

    Section 001 Media, Identity And Society. Students Are Required To Attend A Screening W 5:30-6:30.

    Instructor(s): Bambi L Haggins (bhaggins@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.

    No Description Provided

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    COMM 481. Media and Violence.

    Section 001.

    Instructor(s): L 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 in the media 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.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 482. Children and the Media.

    Section 001.

    Instructor(s): Kristen S Harrison

    Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

    Credits: (3).

    Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

    This course examines the influences of the mass media on children in American society. The course is designed to explore in-depth the literature on media effects, emphasizing the interaction of mass media, psychological development, and social behavior. The focus is interdisciplinary. Course readings examine both methodological and theoretical issues, drawing from work in communication, psychology, human development, and public policy.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 484 / Poli. Sci. 420. Mass Media and Political Behavior.

    Section 001.

    Instructor(s): Nicholas A Valentino (nvalenti@umich.edu)

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

    Credits: (4).

    Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

    This course explores enduring research questions concerning the interaction between the press, politicians, and the public. Journalistic performance, elite political strategy, and mass public opinion are all investigated in some depth. Important normative and conceptual issues (e.g., the role of the press in a democratic society; the susceptibility of citizens to media influence; the adequacy of campaign coverage; the influence of campaigns on political behavior) are identified and examined using research from various social science disciplines. Emphasis is given to recent research dealing with the impact of political communication on electoral behavior.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 485 / Soc. 463. Mass Communication and Public Opinion.

    Section 001.

    Instructor(s): Nojin Kwak (kwak@umich.edu)

    Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

    Credits: (3).

    Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

    This course explores enduring research questions concerning mass communication and public opinion. Important normative and conceptual issues (e.g., the role of the press in a democratic society; the susceptibility of citizens to media influence; the differentiation of mass, crowd, and public; the relationship of attitudes to opinions) are first identified and examined by reviewing writings in social philosophy and social science. These issues are then investigated further through a review of relevant research in sociology, political science, social psychology, and mass communication. Emphasis is given to recent research dealing with the impact of the media on public opinion.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 488. Special Topics in Media Effects.

    Section 001 Propaganda.

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

    Prerequisites & Distribution: Comm. Studies 381 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

    Credits: (3).

    Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

    This course examines propaganda from the perspective of different academic disciplines, with a major emphasis place on work from the broad field of communication. Although the subject of propaganda is vast and the literature is extensive, our approach entails a systematic survey of its history and an investigation of its contemporary significance. With the appearance of a wide variety of new communications technologies and the ever-present promise of additional channels for disseminating information, the opportunities for heightened propaganda activities become more pronounced. Many scholars have noted this fact and various predictions have been made concerning its societal impact. We will evaluate these predictions and also offer our own. The goal of the course is to provide a challenge to the participants to become involved in the intriguing world of propaganda. The hope is that it would stimulate further research and discussion.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    COMM 491. Senior Honors Seminar, I.

    Section 001.

    Instructor(s): L Rowell Huesmann (huesmann@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.

    Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

    Graduate Course Listings for COMM.


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