Fall '99 Course Guide

Courses in Communication Studies (Division 352)

Fall Term, 1999 (September 8 December 22, 1999)

Take me to the Fall Term '99 Time Schedule for Communication Studies.


Comm. 101. The Mass Media.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Susan Douglas

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.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 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.

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

Comm. 111. Workshop on Managing the Information Environment.

Instructor(s):

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, 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.

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

Comm. 211(206). 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.

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

Comm. 321(450). Undergraduate Internship.

Instructor(s):

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.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 1 Waitlist Code: 3: Permission of department

Comm. 351. Structure and Function of Media Systems.

Section 001.

Instructor(s):

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: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 361. Processes of Mediated Communication.

Section 001.

Instructor(s):

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: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 371. Media, Culture, and Society.

Section 002 meets the ECB Jr/Sr Writing Requirment

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.

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

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

Section 002 meets the ECB Jr/Sr Writing Requirment

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.

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

Comm. 439. Seminar in Journalistic Performance.

Section 001 (3 credits)

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

No Description Provided.

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Comm. 439. Seminar in Journalistic Performance.

Section 002 (3 credits)

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

No Description Provided.

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Comm. 439. Seminar in Journalistic Performance.

Section 003 (3 credits)

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

No Description Provided.

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Comm. 441. Independent Reading.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of department. (1-8). (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: (1-8).

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: 2 Waitlist Code: 3: Permission of department

Comm. 442. Independent Research.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of department. (1-8). (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: (1-8).

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: 2 Waitlist Code: 3: Permission of department

Comm. 452. Media Law and Policy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s):

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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.

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

Comm. 453(400). The Media in U.S. History.

Section 001.

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

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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 another. While there are no specific prerequisites, a general grounding in United States history is recommended.

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

Comm. 459. Seminar in Media Systems.

Section 001.

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

No Description Provided.

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Comm. 463. Media Use and Reception.

Section 001.

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

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

No Description Provided.

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Comm. 473. Cross-Cultural Communication.

Section 001.

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

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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.

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

Comm. 481. Media and Violence.

Section 001.

Instructor(s):

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. In Part 2, we will discuss the role of the media as socializing agents in general. In Part 3, we will delve into the research and theory on the link between media violence and aggression. Finally, in Part 4 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: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 484(420)/Poli. Sci. 420. Mass Media and Political Behavior.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Nick 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: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 485(463)/Soc. 463. Mass Communication and Public Opinion.

Section 001.

Instructor(s):

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

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: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

Comm. 491(590). Senior Honors Seminar, I.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Kristen Harrison (krishar@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: 2 Waitlist Code: 3: Permission of instructor and Honors concentrator in Communication Studies

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