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 (Thrall)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

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 (Metzger)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

111. Workshop on Managing the Information Environment. (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 computer networks. The course introduces students to a range of campus computing resources, including local area networks and available software, and remote access to the Internet. Problem-solving assignments are designed to teach concepts in data management and strategies for finding information and evaluating its validity and utility. Cost:2 WL:1 (Thrall)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

211(206). Evaluating Information. Comm. Studies 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. Cost:2 WL:1 (Traugott)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

311(406). Mass Communication Research. Comm. Studies 211. (3). (SS). (QR/1).
A guided introduction to mass communication research processes. The course will address (a) methods of framing media research questions, (b) techniques for gathering empirical data in an effort to answer these questions, and (c) 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. Comm. Studies 211 or equivalent strongly recommended. Cost:2 WL:1 (Johnston)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

321(450). Undergraduate Internship. 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 eight credits.
The internship is designed to provide Communication Studies concentrators limited credit for appropriate practical work experience. Time requirement for a two-credit internship is approximately 15 hours per week for a 14-week term. Student evaluation is based on satisfactory completion of the internship and evaluation of the final paper. Cost:1 WL:3 (Craig)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

322. Practicum. Permission of department. Practicum 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 eight 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 two-credit practicum is approximately 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. Registration is permitted only with approved faculty supervision. Cost:1 WL:3 (Craig)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

351. Structure and Function of Media Systems. Comm. Studies 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; the impact of new 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:2 WL:1 (Ohmer)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

361. Processes of Mediated Communication. Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).
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:3 WL:1 (Salomonson)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

371. Media, Culture, and Society. Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).
This course focuses on the historical origins and evolution of the relationships between the mass media, cultural practices and values, and society. We will read a range of work by media historians and critics who have sought to analyze and explain how media imagery and messages shape our "common sense" notions about identification and behavior, including one's sense of self, attitudes towards success and happiness, gender identification, racial stereotypes, and youth culture. We will review different theoretical conceptions of the audience and of the powers of the mass media. We will consider the debates over whether mass culture has been a negative or positive influence in American culture. Examples of the mass media that we will study include advertising, the news, television programming, and popular music. Our goal is to provide you with a sense of the history of the mass media in America, and to provide you with the critical tools and language to deconstruct their assumptions and techniques. Cost:2 WL:1 (Wolfe)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

381. Media Impact on Knowledge, Values, and Behavior. Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).
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 mediaprofessionals. Cost:2 WL:1 (Harrison)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

439. Seminar in Journalistic Performance. (1-4). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of eight credits.
Section 001 Media Coverage of the Supreme Court. (3 credits).
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. Cost:2 WL:1 (Collings)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

451. Media Professionals. Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).
This course reviews the literature dealing with the institutional, structural, and individual factors affecting the conduct of media professionals. The impact of media workers' behavior on message construction is given special attention. Topics include: newsroom socialization; organizational structure of the media; and the professionalization of mass communicator roles. The course also examines professional standards of performance and ethical and legal codes of conduct for journalists and other media professionals. Cost:2 WL:1 (Craig)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

452. Media Law and Policy. Comm. Studies 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 (Metzger)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

453(400). The Media in American History. Comm. Studies 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 (Craig)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

459. Seminar in Media Systems. Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 001 Media Coverage of Foreign News.
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:2 WL:1 (Collings)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

462. Social Influence and Persuasion. Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. Students who have taken Communication 310 in a previous term should not enroll in this course. (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 (Salomonson)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

469. Seminar in Mass Communication Processes. Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 001 Interest Groups, Social Action, and the Mass Media.
Politics today, both at the level of individual policy debates and at the level of broad social movements, is in large part a product of two powerful trends which began in the 1960s: the enormous rise in the number and activity of public interest groups working to affect public attitudes and public policy; and the tremendous increase in the power and reach of the mass media and other means of communication. These trends, we will discover, are intimately related. To understand how groups like the Sierra Club, the NRA, the Christian Coalition, or even the AFL-CIO operate, how they influence politics and policy, and what they mean for American democracy, we must understand how they relate to the mass media. This course will begin with a discussion about the role of interest groups in American politics, then examine how news organizations cover interest group activities, how groups attempt to use the media to their own advantage, and how successful interest group media strategies have been in the recent past by looking at case studies ranging from the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s to the failed Clinton health care plan of the 1990s. Cost:2 WL:1 (Thrall)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

474. Mass Communication and Identity. Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).
This course explores the role of mass communication in shaping personal and social identity. Special attention is given to the ways in which the mass media can create, sustain, or alter ethnic culture and subcultures. Topics include the ethnic media in contemporary America, including the role of the media in immigrant communities, and the complex interplay of "mainstream" and minority cultural life. Cost:2 WL:1 (Wolfe)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

481. Media and Violence. Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).
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 Section 002, we will discuss the role of the media as socializing agents in general. In Section 003, we will delve into the research and theory on the link between media violence and aggression. Finally, in Section 004 we will discuss societal and psychological approaches to controlling violence and the effects of media violence as well as issues of media policy. Cost:2 WL:1 (Huesmann)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

484(420)/Poli. Sci. 420. Mass Media and Political Behavior. Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (4). (Excl).
The central proposition of this course is that the mass media have become an increasingly critical element of modern presidential elections. Accordingly, understanding how news coverage of the campaign is generated, how candidates try to shape that news, the use and impact of political advertisements, and how campaign information reaches and influences the voting public is essential to a complete picture of modern presidential elections. This course aims to give students an appreciation of the dynamics of the mass media election, how it is waged by journalists and politicians, its effects on the public, and its consequences for American democracy. Cost:2 WL:1 (Valentino)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

492(591). Senior Honors Thesis. Comm. Studies 491. (3). (Excl). No more than three credits of Comm. Studies 491-492 may be included in a communication concentration plan. (INDEPENDENT).
This is the second in a two-part Honors seminar program and culminates in the composition of a senior Honors thesis. Students must have successfully completed Comm Studies 491. This course is offered only in winter term and meets only on occasion, based on a schedule to be arranged at the first class session. Students work directly with their thesis advisers, and are expected to meet regularly with them for direction and assistance. Cost:2 WL:1 (Huesmann)
Check Times, Location, and Availability


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.