Courses in Communication Studies (Division 352)

101. The Mass Media. (4). (SS).

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:2 WL:1

102. Media Processes and Effects. (4). (SS).

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:2 WL:1 (Oshagan)

111. Workshop on Managing the Information Environment. Restricted to first-year students only. (1). (Excl).

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, data base 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:2 WL:1

211(206). Evaluating Information. Comm. 111. (4). (SS). (QR/1).

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. Communication Studies 111 or equivalent strongly recommended. Cost:2 WL:1 (Traugott)

311(406). Mass Communication Research. Comm. Studies 211. (3). (SS). (QR/1).

A guided introduction to mass communication research process. The course will address (1) methods of framing media research questions, (2) techniques for gathering empirical data in an effort to answer these questions, and (3) statistical and other techniques for organizing, analyzing, and interpreting the data to form valid conclusions. Students collaborate in carrying out a term research project, which provides the opportunity to practice the many techniques learned in the course. The aim is to enable students to pursue their own ideas, from initial conceptualization to the research questions to final conclusions. Communication Studies 211 or equivalent strongly recommended. Cost:2 WL:1

321(450). Undergraduate Internship. Junior standing, concentration in Communication, and permission of instructor. (2). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. May not be used to satisfy communication electives in a communication concentration plan. No more than eight credits combined of Comm 321 and 322 may be elected. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be elected for a total of six credits.

The internship is designed to provide Communication Studies concentrators limited credit for appropriate practical work experience. Time requirement for a 2-credit internship is approximately 12-15 hours per week for a 14 week term. Student evaluation is based on satisfactory completion of the internship and written recommendation of the internship sponsor. Internship credit is not retroactive and must be pre-arranged. Registration is by permission of instructor only. Cost:2 WL:1

322. Practicum. Permission of department. Practicum credit is not retroactive and must be prearranged. No more than eight credits combined of Comm 321 and 322 may be elected. (2). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. May not be used to satisfy communication electives in a communciation concentration plan. No more than eight credits combined of Comm 321 and 322 may be elected. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be elected for a total of six credits.

The practicum is designed to provided Communication Studies concentrators limited credit for appropriate practical experience gained in other than an employment setting. Time requirement for a 2-credit practicum is approximately 12-15 hours per week for a 14 week term. Student evaluation is based on satisfactory completion of an analytical evaluation (e.g., research-based paper) of the experience, under direction of the practicum supervisor. Practicum credit is not retroactive and must be pre-arranged. Registration is permitted only with approved faculty supervision. Cost:2 WL:1

351. Structure and Function of Media Systems. Comm. 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

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. Communication Studies 101 strongly recommended. Cost:2 WL:1 (Stevens)

361. Processes of Mediated Communication. Comm. 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

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 gate-keeping; 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). Communication Studies 102 strongly recommended. Cost:2 WL:1 (Price)

371. Media, Culture, and Society. Comm. 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

Explores social and cultural approaches to the study of mass communication. Course topics studied may include: communication and social identity, including race, ethnicity and gender; media's role in defining and reflecting culture; the equity of community, state, and worldwide information systems, including debates over the "new world communication order," post-colonialism, and globalization; media audiences as interpretive 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. Communication Studies 101 strongly recommended. Cost:2 WL:1

381. Media Impact on Knowledge, Values, and Behavior. Comm. 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

Critically evaluates research and scholarship focused on the impact of mass communication 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; and public opinion. 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. Communication Studies 102 strongly recommended. Cost:2 WL:1

439. Seminar in Journalistic Performance. (2-4). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of eight credits.

Investigates long-range factors affecting the ability of the news media to perform their function in a democratic society. Topics vary by section. This course is an arranged, periodic seminar made possible through the support of the Marsh Visiting Professor Fund. When such opportunities to offer the seminar arise, descriptions are made available in the Department of Communication Studies office and by special announcement. Cost:2 WL:1

452. Media Law and Policy. Comm. 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

This course covers the basic principles of media law and its applications in connection with media practice and regulation. Topics covered include First Amendment theory, hate speech, prior restraints, libel, indecency, obscenity and pornography, media censorship, rights to privacy, freedom of information and public rights of access, advertising and consumer regulation, and electronic media regulation. Cost:2 WL:1

453(400). The Media in American History. Comm. 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (SS).

This course places the development of American mass media in historical perspective. It surveys the evolution of the mass media from colonial times to the present, focusing on the development of contemporary forms: the newspaper, magazine, broadcasting, and motion picture. Changes in the structure of the media are examined in connection with historical and economic trends in American society. While there are no specific prerequisites, a general grounding in American history is recommended. Cost:2 WL:1 (Stevens)

462. Social Influence and Persuasion. Comm. 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (4). (Excl).

This course examines the capability of the mass media to persuade, and the basic processes involved. Both cognitive and social-psychological theories of influence are examined in detail, and in connection with a variety of persuasive phenomena, including advertising, media campaigns, and propaganda. Conditions that facilitate or impede the persuasive influence of media messages are investigated, as are the ethical implications of employing the mass media to influence audiences. Cost:2 WL:1 (Allen)

464. Communication Processes and Technologies. Comm. 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

A survey of the present state and future applications of interactive communication technologies, cable and satellite delivery systems, worldwide computing networks, and other new electronic media. The course examines the impact of these technological developments on basic mass communication processes, against the backdrop of research on the interplay of technology, society, and behavior. Topics include the impact of communication modalities on cognitive processing of messages, spatial and cultural "biases" of different media technologies, and the manner in which communication technologies are adapted and implemented for commercial purposes. Cost:2 WL:1

470/CAAS 470/Film-Video 470. Cultural Issues in Cinema. (3). (HU).

See CAAS 470. (Ukadike)

471. Gender Issues in the Media. Comm. 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

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 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:2 WL:1

473. Cross-Cultural Communication. Comm. 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

Examines some of the major issues concerning the nature of cross-cultural communication: the flow of information across national boundaries, the unequal distribution and access to information world-wide, the varying points of viewing concerning the New World Information Order, the worldwide consequences of the Information Age (post-industrial society), the new paradigms that are being developed to explain and predict the development of media in underdeveloped societies and propaganda analysis. A major concern of this course is to understand how communication and the media, especially, operate in an international context and to evaluate some of the arguments and notions concerning their future global operations, with particular reference to the developing world. Cost:2 WL:1 (Allen)

481. Media and Violence. Comm. 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

Examines the theoretical and empirical connections between mass communication and human aggression. The course is designed to explore in-depth the literature on the prevalence of violent themes in television, film, and other popular media, and to investigate the psychological and social mechanisms through which media portrayals might influence attitudes and behavior. The main focus is on media and violence in contemporary American culture, but cross-national comparisons and historical trends are examined as well. Critical attention is given to the linkages between the research literature and issues of media policy. Cost:2 WL:1 (Huesmann)

484(420)/Pol. Sci. 420. Mass Media and Political Behavior. Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (4). (Excl).

Focuses on the role and importance of mass media in the political process. Topics include: how news is made; political advertising; relations between Congress, the President, and the media; and the role of mass media in political campaigns. These topics are examined through a systematic review of research in both mass communication and political science. Primary emphasis is on the American political system, but comparisons are drawn with other advanced industrial democracies. Cost:2 WL:1

485(463). Mass Communication and Public Opinion. Comm. 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (SS).

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. Cost:2 WL:1

491(590). Senior Honors Seminar, I. Comm. 311 and admission to Honors. (3). (Excl). No more than 3 credits of Comm. 491-492 may be included in a Communication concentration plan.

This is the first in a two-part Honors seminar program and culminates in the composition of a senior Honors thesis prospectus. Develops student's senior Honors thesis topic, choice of research methods, and selection of faculty thesis adviser. Offered only in Fall Term. To be eligible for enrollment students must: (1) be a concentrator in communication and be capable of conducting original research, (2) possess a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 and have at least a 3.5 average in departmental course work, and (3) have successfully completed Communication Studies 311. Cost:2 WL:1 (Price)


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